Lab Director

Ben Parrell

Position title: Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders


Postdoctoral Research Associates

Dinglan Tang


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).

Research Staff

Chris Naber


I’ve worked in SMAC Lab since the summer of 2019. Before that, I graduated from Emory University in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology-Linguistics and Music Performance then worked at Epic as a Technical Solutions Engineer. In 2018 I returned to academia to complete UW-Madison’s CSD capstone program. I’m applying to graduate programs related to speech perception for Fall 2021.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Mackenzie Bugg


I am a senior here at UW-Madison, and I am majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  I hope to one day become a speech language pathologist.  I am extremely interested in the mechanisms behind speech.

Taijing Chen


I am an undergraduate sophomore in University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in computer science & mathematics. I am interested in the differences and similarity between the mechanism of human brains and that of artificial intelligence, and applying my science background to the research.

Jenna Krakauer


I am a junior majoring in Communication Sciences & Disorders and Music Performance, and am planning to go to graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist. Motor movement in speech and it’s applications to people with neurodegenerative disorders is of particular interest to me. The more we know about the speech-motor system, the more we can learn about these disorders.

Brenden Mock


I am an undergraduate Senior at UW-Madison majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I have a particular interest in the complexity of the speech mechanism, and the ability of healthy speakers to perform this complex task effortlessly.

Dylan Senn


I am a freshman majoring in Neurobiology, Psychology, and Computer Science.  I am interested in understanding the complexities of neural networks especially within speech and motor planning, and I hope to translate that to my knowledge of computers and artificial intelligence to help with further research.

Tahseen Shaik


I am a sophomore at UW Madison majoring in Neurobiology, and I hope to pursue a career in medicine. I am especially interested in cognitive psychology and understanding the neuroscience of speech production.

Kathleen Zarnott


I am a senior majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and I plan to go to graduate school to become a speech pathologist. I find learning about how motor planning influences speech production in typical and atypical populations to be fascinating, and applying these principles to research to be even more exciting.