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Gallaudet’s first Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience (PEN) doctoral student successfully defends dissertation

Adam Michael Stone, Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto's doctoral student in Gallaudet University’s Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience (PEN) program and a graduate research assistant in Dr. Petitto’s Brain & Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2), successfully defended his dissertation on “Neural systems for infant sensitivity to phonological rhythmic-temporal patterning.”

Mr. Stone’s study explores the neural mechanisms that make possible an infants' ability to find salient phonetic-syllabic units in the language stream around them, and whether this capacity derives from a nascent peaked sensitivity to maximally contrasting rhythmic-temporal patterning corresponding to syllabic rate. The study also tests the hypothesis that the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and left inferior frontal cortex (LIFC) are the predominant brain sites containing the neural substrates that mediate this sensitivity. Learn more about Mr. Stone's research results.

Dr. Gaurav Mathur, Dean of Gallaudet University’s Graduate School, noted: 

“Mr. Stone’s study is rooted in the discipline of Educational Neuroscience and strives to exemplify this discipline’s commitment to basic cognitive neuroscience research and its principled translation for the benefit of society...Investigating how infants discover the finite set of phonetic units in their native language helps identify an important component in the multi-componential processes that underlie human language acquisition. The study helps identify the early-life language patterns that all infants must encounter and lays bare the foundations of phonological segmentation and processing on which a child’s early reading abilities and academic success may rest. Crucially, the present study has the potential to benefit society by illustrating the nature of infants’ early sensitivities to language, and when they must occur in development; indeed, the results provide powerful support that infants’ early exposure to signed language is essential for optimal brain, language, and reading growth.”

The members of Mr. Stone’s dissertation committee included Professor Laura-Ann Petitto, Ph.D. Program in Educational Neuroscience and Department of Psychology, chair of the dissertation committee; Professor Maribel Gárate, Department of Education; Dr. Clifton Langdon, Ph.D. Program in Educational Neuroscience; Professor Regina Nuzzo, Department of Science, Technology, and Mathematics and Department of Psychology; and Professor April Benasich, Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University. 

Please join the University in congratulating Adam on his accomplishment!

 

Posted by Kennesha Baldwin | Posted June 6, 2017 at 11:57 AM

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Gallaudet

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002