My name is Laura Schubel and I'm a third year undergraduate student studying communication sciences and disorders with a minor in psychology. Upon graduation, I hope to pursue my doctorate in speech language pathology. In the fall of 2014, I was given the wonderful opportunity to work under Dr. Janet van Hell, assisting with a wide range of studies. I have been honored to work among professors, post doctorates, and graduate students alike. In December of 2014, I was awarded the undergraduate PIRE fellowship to pursue a study focusing on the neuropragmatics of foreign-accented speech comprehension in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Over the course of the eight weeks I will be spending in Nijmegen, I will be conducting my research at Radbound University under Dr. James McQueen and his colleagues. The study I am pursuing along with postdoctoral researcher Sarah Grey relates to experience with foreign accented speech and listeners' sentence comprehension. There is a well-documented neural signal, referred to as the P600 component, which may be sensitive to native versus non-native speaker identity in response to grammar errors. In a study produced by Hanulikova, van Alphen, van Goch, & Weber, 2012, researchers found that Dutch listeners elicited no P600 response when paired with Turkish-accented speakers; however, the P600 response was elicited when Dutch listeners were paired with Dutch-accented speakers committing the same violations. Dr. Grey and I hope to extend research regarding speaker identity and language comprehension. We will be testing three different listener populations, one of which I will be testing during my time abroad.
I am incredibly honored to be given the opportunity by PIRE to conduct my research in Nijmegen. I constantly find myself inspired and fascinated by the research I help to conduct here at Penn State, and I cannot wait to further my research career by taking it it to the Netherlands. This is an amazing opportunity, and I am so excited and honored to be a part of it!
How does experience with foreign-accented speech influence listeners' sentence comprehension? A neuropragmatic approach to language processing.
Pennsylvania State University, USA
Center for Language Science