People

Lab Director

Ben Parrell

Position title: Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Email: bparrell@wisc.edu

Lab Manager

Chris Naber

Email: cwnaber@wisc.edu

I studied Psychology, Linguistics, and Music Performance at Emory University. After a stint at Epic and UW-Madison’s CSD capstone program, I started working in SMAC Lab in Summer 2019. I programmed experiments related to timing in speech, assisted students on projects, and improved lab tools like Audapter. In Summer 2021 I became lab manager.

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Anneke Slis

Email: slis@wisc.edu

Currently I am a postdoctoral research associate in the SMAC lab in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at UW Madison. In my research, I aim to understand how language-specific requirements, (bio-) mechanical constraints, and sensory information contribute to articulatory variability and coordination in typical speakers and speakers with neurodegenerative disorders. I approach articulatory behavior from the perspective of general movement behavior, like dancing, walking, or playing an instrument, to examine and understand these interactions.

Dinglan Tang

Email: dtang38@wisc.edu

I am a postdoctoral fellow at  Speech Motor Neuroscience Group at UW–Madison, a collaboration between the Brain, Language, and Acoustic Behavior Lab (PI: Niziolek) and the Speech Motor Action + Control Lab (PI: Parrell). My research focuses on the mechanisms underlying sensorimotor learning in speech at both behavioral and neural level.

 

I completed my PhD in Speech&Brain lab at University of Oxford in the global pandemic (2020) with Kate Watkins and co-mentor Charlotte Stagg. My PhD work focused on the auditory-motor interactions during both speech perception and production. I use a mixture of behavioural testing (e.g. real-time feedback perturbation), Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and Magnetoencephalography/electroencephalography (M/EEG).

Yuyu Zeng

Email: yuyu.zeng@wisc.edu

I am a postdoctoral researcher of the Speech Motor Neuroscience Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I grew up in Chongqing, China’s 4th direct-controlled municipality besides Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. Although I can perceive and produce the /in/ and /iŋ/ contrast in Mandarin Chinese, I pretend to have an accent by merging them when speaking Mandarin.

The central theme of my research is Words in Communication (WiC). My vision for research on WiC is that it will integrate knowledge from linguistics, acoustics, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, computer science, and network science, using behavioral experiments, brain recordings, and computational models. You can find more about me on my personal website.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Tessa Jester

Email: tjester@wisc.edu

I am a sophomore at UW-Madison majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a certificate in Disability Rights and Services. I plan to become a Speech and Language Pathologist and work with preschool-elementary school aged kids after graduation.

Bailey Meyers

Email: bbmeyers@wisc.edu

I am a senior undergraduate majoring in Communication Sciences & Disorders and Linguistics with a certificate in Disability Rights & Services. I plan to go to graduate school for speech language pathology, and I’m very interested in neurodegenerative disorders and both speech planning and production.

Erin Murdoch

Email: emmurdoch@wisc.edu

I am a senior majoring in communication sciences & disorders and psychology. I plan to pursue a career as a speech language pathologist. I am particularly interested in the connection between neuroscience and speech.

Riya Patel

Email: rmpatel4@wisc.edu

I am a senior majoring in Biology and Communication Sciences & Disorders with a certificate in Disability Rights and Services. I plan on pursuing a career in medicine after graduating.

Josh Silverman

Email: jnsilverman4@wisc.edu

I am a sophomore at UW-Madison majoring in biochemistry and plan to pursue a career in medicine. I am specifically interested in neural circuits and how they interact to produce speech and motor functions.

Emily Tesch

Email: eltesch@wisc.edu

I am an undergraduate senior here at UW Madison majoring in Neurobiology and Spanish. I am particularly interested in the neuroscience behind speech production from a multilingual linguistics perspective.

Gracie Turner

Email: glturner@wisc.edu

I am a junior majoring in Communication Sciences & Disorders with a certificate in Disability Rights and Services. I plan to pursue a career in research and speech pathology. I am particularly interested in neurodegenerative disorders and their impacts on speech production.

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