Speech Perception and Language Lab at Villanova University
Welcome to the Word Recognition & Auditory Perception Lab (WRAP Lab)! Our group studies how human listeners recognize speech and understand spoken language. Investigating language processing as it happens is central to our approach, and we use a combination of computational, cognitive neuroscience, and behavioral techniques to study these processes.
Find out more about our research on this site. Thanks for stopping by! — Joe Toscano
Here's what we've been up to lately
August 25, 2016
Ben Falandays, a second-year grad student in the lab, successfully defended his thesis proposal on August 25, becoming the earliest grad student in the Department's history to propose his thesis project. Congratulations Ben! His project will be using the visual-world eye-tracking paradigm to investigate the integration of low-level acoustic information into discourse processing.
August 11, 2016
WRAP Lab grad students Elkee Nordeen, Sarah Vrabic, and Olivia Pereira presented posters at the recent CogSci meeting in Philadelphia. Reprints of our CogSci 2016 posters are available here:
April 22, 2016
Earlier this year, members of the WRAP Lab, Lexie Tabachnick and Joe Toscano, along with friend of the lab, Neil Bardhan, submitted an entry to this year's Flame Challenge to answer the question "What Is Sound?". The Flame Challenge is a contest organized by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science that challenges scientists to explain complex concepts to 11-year-old students. Written and video entries are judged by students in classrooms. Click here to see our entry.
April 19, 2016
Emma Folk, Olivia Pereira, and Joe Toscano were in Washington, D.C. this past weekend to help teach kids about speech perception! We were part of the Acoustical Society's exhibit at the #BigTopPhysics booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. It was a great event, and Emma and Olivia got to show off their Praat skills by re-synthesizing and auto-tuning visitor's voices. Lots of fun with these and the other ASA demos at our booth.
April 6, 2016
Two WRAP Lab grad students have received summer fellowships from the Graduate College at Villanova. Congrats to Ben and Dave!
Ben Falandays received a fellowship for his proposal, "How long can listeners maintain gradient acoustic information?", which will be using the visual world eye-tracking paradigm to study listeners' interpretation of pronouns in extended discourses. We are conducting this study in collaboration with our colleague, Sarah Brown-Schmidt, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dave Saltzman received a fellowship for his proposal, "The role of theta waves in speaking rate compensation." Dave will be conducting an EEG experiment that follows-up on his thesis work, which is examining models of speaking rate compensation and neural entrainment. This study is being done in collaboration with our colleagues at the University of Iowa, Bob McMurray and Arianne Rhone.
April 1, 2016
WRAP Lab grad student Tif Biro presented her poster, "Using naturalistic and engaging tasks to measure phonetic convergence" at the Sociolinguistic Variation and Language Processing Conference (SVALP). The poster describes Tif's work on phonetic convergence that we are conducting with our collaborator at Kansas, Navin Viswanathan. Link to poster.
Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our research, request a copy of a paper, are interested in joining the lab, or have any other questions. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scheduled to participate in a study? The main lab is located in Tolentine Hall, Room 231. Some of our experiments also take place in the eye-tracking lab in Tolentine 18A. If you're scheduled to participate in an experiment but aren't sure where to go, please come to the main lab and a research assistant will meet you there!