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Brennan, Christine Assistant Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • My current research combines clinical and theoretical questions. Clinical topics include language and communication deficits associated with Smith-Magenis syndrome, autoimmune encephalitis, and other medical and/or congenital conditions. I am also involved in the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Outreach project for adolescents with complex commination needs. My theoretical research focuses on understanding reading impairment and learning to read a new orthography. My investigations focus on the role of individual phonological skill on foreign language learning and representation of speech sounds in the auditory cortex. I theorize that organization of the auditory cortex plays a critical role in the foundation of reading ability. Overall, my research aims to advance our knowledge of the factors that contribute to language, communication, and reading skill and advance methods for clinical and educational methods.

keywords

  • dyslexia, reading impairment, language impairment, speech sound processing, phonological skill, neuroscience, brain activation, fMRI, reading development, reading skill, reading instruction, reading intervention, special education, speech and language impairment, developmental disabilities, language learning disabilities, learning disabilities, speech and language intervention, autoimmune encephalitis, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Smith-Magenis Syndrome

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • SLHS 4576 - Communication Neuroscience
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    Provides an introduction to neuroscience with an emphasis on the systems that support human communication including speech perception and production, language, memory and cognition. Topic areas will include auditory processing, language, memory and motor systems. Development of brain systems and structures will be explored, as well as neurologically based disorders. Neuroscientific methods surveyed will include MRI, fMRI, EEG, MEG, NIRS, lesion studies and electrophysiology.
  • SLHS 5242 - Language Disorders in School Age Children
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    Addresses the nature, assessment, and treatment of developmental language disorders in school age children. Recommended prerequisite: undergraduate background in SLHS.
  • SLHS 5576 - Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of Communication
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021
    Provides an introduction to the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology that collectively give rise to human communication including speech perception and production. We will consider how speech, language and hearing are represented in and controlled by the central nervous system and how neuropathologies affect processes of communication.
  • SLHS 5612 - Language Learning Disabilities
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Expands upon the nature of Language Disorders in SLHS 5242 (School Age Language Disorders) including language-based difficulties in reading, written language and mathematical achievement, as well as deficits in executive functioning. Students will explore clinical management options through studies of intervention methods as well as through clinical case examples. Specifically, we will examine adaptive instruction and evidence-based intervention.
  • SLHS 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
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Background

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