Director

Kaja Jasińska is fundamentally interested in the neural mechanisms that support language (monolingual or bilingual, signed or spoken), reading and cognitive development across the lifespan. Her research asks questions such as how early life experience changes the brain’s capacity for language and learning. She uses MRI and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging technology in combination with genetic and behavioral analyses to gain new insights into the biological underpinnings of language, reading, and human cognition.

Visit Dr. Jasińska’s personal page here.

Email: jasinska@udel.edu

Post-docs

Benjamin Zinszer Ben is a research associate in the BOLD lab and the Princeton Baby Lab. His research explores language learning, bilingualism, and how the brain represents linguistic categories. He uses many behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging methods in this work. Recently, Ben directed the Multimodal Neuroimaging at the University of Texas at Austin, worked as a research associate in the SoundBrain Lab (UT-Austin), and postdoc’d in the Baby Lab and Raizada Lab (University of Rochester).

Visit Benjamin’s personal page here.

 

Hermann Akpe has a PhD in Social Sciences and Human Capital Development from the Institute Development and Anthropology (ISAD) at Félix Houphouët Boigny University (UFHB). He holds M.A. and B.A. degrees in developmental economy. His research focuses on education, and he has worked on projects concerning the quality of professional development at private institutions of higher education. His research interests also include  professional integration strategies. He is a member of the National Committee for Early Childhood Integrated Development (CNDIDJE) and has a special interest in young children’s learning abilities.

French Description
Je m’appelle AKPE YAPO HERMANN, je suis ivoirien, titulaire d’un Doctorat en Sciences Sociales de Développement du Capital Humain acquit à l’institut des Sciences Anthropologiques de développement (ISAD) de l’université Félix Houphouët Boigny (UFHB). Je suis également titulaire d’une maîtrise et d’une licence en économie de développement. J’ai un intérêt particulier pour la recherche empirique dans le domaine éducatif. J’ai notamment travaillé sur la qualité de la formation professionnelle dans les établissements supérieurs privés et sur les perspectives d’insertion professionnelle. Membre du Comité National de Développement Intégré du Jeune Enfant (CNDIDJE) et passionné des questions d’acquisition de compétences chez les Jeunes enfants, je saisi l’opportunité que m’offre ce projet pour renforcer mes capacités et développer des axes stratégiques de recherche. Je remercie pour l’occasion Dr Kaja Jasinska pour son coaching.

Graduate Students

Fabrice Tanoh — Research coordinator for Ivorian team Fabrice is a third-year doctoral student in Economic Sociology at the University Felix Houphouet Boigny (UFHB) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. His research focuses on issues related to children’s education in rural areas. His work on the  Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities project centers around the sociological and socioeconomic context of child literacy development. He also leads the Science Capacity Building collaboration with research partners in Ivory Coast (CIERPA, World Education, Laboratory of Neuroscience, French Agency of Development, and others). This project aims to increase the skills of young researchers and launch joint research projects on education in Côte d’Ivoire.

Axel Seri is pursuing an master’s degree in ethics and governance with a focus on sustainable development at the Center for Research and Action for Peace (CERAP) in Côte d’Ivoire. He is passionate about research and hopes to contribute to scientific innovation serving sustainable development in Africa. He works on the Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities project and plans to continue studies at the doctoral level.

Joelle Hannon is a first-year doctoral student in Linguistics at the University of Delaware. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of North Texas and an M.A. in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from the University of Delaware. Her research interests are in literacy development and second language acquisition and how these relate to memory and other aspects of neurocognitive development. She is particularly interested in these issues within the context of lower and middle income countries. She is involved in the Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities project.

Email: johannon@udel.edu

Janina Boecher is a first-year PhD student at the department of Linguistics & Cognitive Science. She holds a B.A. in English Linguistics and Literature from Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany. She is interested in child language development and second language acquisition. Janina is currently involved in a research project investigating the impact of noise on neural pathways subserving emerging language skills in young children with cochlear implants.

Email: janinab@udel.edu

Alyssa Kampa is a collaborator from the Language and Cognition Lab and is a PhD student in Linguistics & Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware. She is interested in the study of child language acquisition, specifically the acquisition of pragmatics. Her research focuses on the development of complex pragmatic reasoning abilities necessary for the comprehension of scalar implicatures. Her work with the BOLD lab involves studying the neural mechanisms behind scalar implicature derivation, executive functioning, and theory of mind abilities in preschool-aged children, as well as investigating how these cognitive processes in the developing brain compare to adult correlates. 

Email: akampa@udel.edu

Danyang Wang is a collaborator from the The Language Learning and Bilingualism Lab and is a first year doctoral student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at University of Delaware. She obtained her master’s degree in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. She started working with Dr. Kaja Jasinska in the BOLD Lab in May 2018. She is currently working on a bilingual project that examines the influences of L1 cross-linguistics differences on L2 processing.

Email: dywang@udel.edu

Staff

Kelsey Mulford – Lab Manager  Kelsey graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in Cognitive Science (Speech-Language pathology). In the fall, she will start her masters program at the University of Delaware in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is interested in research related to speech and language and how research influences clinical practice. 

Email: kmulford@udel.edu

Research Assistants

Adji Thierry holds a masters in Linguistics from the University of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, where he has also studied law. He is the team’s Attie specialist and also administers French-language assessments as part of the Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities project. He has now participated in four field experiments with the team and plans to continue his studies in linguistics.

French Description
Je me nomme ADJI YVES THIERRY, je suis titulaire d’une maîtrise en Linguistique à l’Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny ou j’ai étudié aussi le Droit. Au sein de l’équipe ou je suis à ma quatrième expériences de terrain, je suis enquêteur en langue attié. J’effectue également tous les tests en française. J’ai un projet de continuer mes études en Linguistique et profiter des savoirs acquis au cours des expériences vécues avec Dr KAJA JASINSKA.
Hannah Carney is a senior studying cognitive science at the University of Delaware. She provides support for the BOLD Lab team, and acts as the team’s secretary. She is studying cognitive science to be a speech pathologist. She enjoys learning about the different factors that affect language and has really enjoyed her time in the BOLD lab!
Erin Curran is a junior cognitive science major at the University of Delaware. She is minoring in psychology and disability studies. She hopes to attend graduate school to become a speech pathologist. She is a research assistant in the BOLD Lab and is very interested in fNIRS technology and language acquisition.

Jennifer Rojas is a senior studying Neuroscience with a pre-med track at the University of Delaware. She is a research assistant in BOLD lab and is very interested in how language is affected during different stages of child development. She hopes to attend Medical school and become a pediatric neurologist. 

Justus Matteson is a junior computer engineering major here at UD with a minor in cybersecurity. As a research assistant in the BOLD lab he develops computer programs to analyze lab data. He hopes to apply his computer engineering knowledge to areas of cognitive and neuroscience.

Reyna Trujillo is a junior biology major with a psychology minor at the University of Delaware. She hopes to pursue a career in the medical field, with a strong interest in psychology and/or neuroscience. She is a research assistant in the BOLD Lab and is very grateful to be part of such a great team!

Hanna Stephen is a sophomore studying neuroscience and cognitive science (Speech-Language pathology) at the University of Delaware. She is very interested in how the brain gives rise to linguistic abilities. She hopes to pursue graduate school and is very excited to work at the BOLD Lab. 

 

Danielle Kablan holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistic and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in psycholinguistics. Her master’s thesis focuses on a congenital malformation called cleft lip and palate which affects children throughout development and language acquisition. She is one of the team’s Baoulé language experts in the Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities project. She hopes to obtain a doctorate in psycholinguistics, and eventually launch her own private practice.
French Description
Salut, je m’appelle KABLAN N’sakilizou Diane Danielle. J’ai une licence en linguistique et actuellement je fais un Master en psycholinguistique. Pour le mémoire de fin d’année, je travaille sur une malformation congénitale appelée la fente labio-palatine qui affecte les enfants au cours de leur développement et l’acquisition du langage. Je suis locutrice Baoulé dans le projet Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities. Après cette enrichissante expérience de terrain, je suis motivée plus que par le passé à devenir également Docteur en psycholinguistique puis avoir mon propre cabinet afin de pouvoir exercer le métier de psycholinguiste.

Alumni

Laís Freitas — Former Visiting Student Lais is a clinical psychologist and was a visiting student from the Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil. Her collaboration at the BOLD Lab centered around childhood cognitive development, transcultural neuropsychology, socioeconomic status, and literacy, with a primary focus on executive functions.

Sosthene Guei — Former Research Coordinator. Sosthene is now pursuing a masters degree in child development at the University of Haifa in Israel. He holds an M.A. in sustainable development with a specialization in corporate social responsibility, as well as a master’s in English studies. His research works focus on development issues related to education and sustainability in Africa.

Kali Bussey — Former Research Assistant. Kali is currently pursuing a masters in communication sciences and disorders at the University of Delaware. After her two years at UD, she plans on becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist in a clinical setting.

Kerryann Pini — Former Research Assistant. Kerryann is currently pursing an M.A./Ed.S. degree in School Psychology at the University of Delaware. She also works at the Center for Disabilities Studies. After graduate school, she hopes to become a school psychologist and possibly go into research on children’s psychoeducational assessment.

Sarah Wang — Former Doctoral Student. Sarah Wang was a second year doctoral student in Linguistics at the University of Delaware. She is currently an SAT tutor for high school students. 

Kenya Neal — Former Research Assistant. Kenya is a senior sociology major at the University of Delaware with a double minors in Human Development and Family Services and Medical Social Services . She plans to go to graduate school to pursue her masters in social work. She is passionate about working with children and child development. She joined the Bold Lab through the McNair scholars program.

Violet Kozloff — Former Lab Manager. Violet graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences and French, where she developed a study on children’s acquisition of non-native intonation patterns. Her interests include language development, speech processing, and bilingualism. She is particularly interested in the acquisition of second language phonology and intonation. She is currently the lab manager for the QLab at the University of Delaware and plans to go to graduate school in the future.

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