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.

Post-Doc

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 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.

Sarah Wang is a second year doctoral student in Linguistics at the University of Delaware. She holds a B.A. in Linguistics and Japanese from Emory University. Her research interests include bilingualism and the mental representation of different aspects of language. She leads the Neural and Genetic Basis of Language and Reading Development project.

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.

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. 
Staff

Violet Kozloff — 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.

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 junior 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!

Kelsey Mulford is a junior cognitive science major at the University of Delaware. She is minoring in both human development and family sciences (HDFS) and disabilities studies. She is planning on becoming a speech pathologist and decided to join the BOLD lab because of it’s focus on language aquisition. She is interested in how socioeconomic factors can influence language and literacy skills.

Erin Curran is a sophomore at the University of Delaware. Her major is Cognitive Science and her minors are psychology and disability studies. She is a research assistant in the BOLD Lab and is very interested in fNIRS technology.
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.

Elise Kouadio is a doctoral student in sociology, specializing in economic sociology and employment research. Her dissertation focuses on household consumption expenditure in difficult economic conditions, asking how we can understand social capital and family ties in insecure households. She speaks Baoulé and has participated in fieldwork for the Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities project in Tiébissou, Côte d’Ivoire. She is deeply interested in the question of childhood education and looks forward to further work with international organizations.

French Description
Je suis KOUADIO Aya Elise doctorante en Sociologie, option sociologie économique et l’emploi. mes travaux en thèse portent sur les dépenses de consommation des ménages en situation de précarité. Autrement dit comment appréhender le capital social dans le maintien des liens familiaux chez les ménages précarisés. Je suis locutrice Baoulé dans le cadre de ce projet. Ma participation à l’enquête de terrain à Tiébissou pour le projet Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities fut pour moi une belle expérience. La question de l’éducation des enfants m’intéresse beaucoup raison pour laquelle j’envisage soutenir ma thèse en sociologie de l’éducation pour être plus outillée. J’aimerais travailler dans des structures internationales comme le TRECC si les opportunités se présentent. 

Armand Yeboue is a second-year master’s student in Literacy at Felix Houphouet Boigny de Cocody University in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. A native speaker of Baoulé, he is a research assistant in the Promoting Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities project.

Alumni

Laís Freitas is a clinical psychologist and 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 Communications 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.

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 andMedical 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.

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