Research

The Covey College of Allied Health Professions is committed to research with the goal to improve our research collaborations, particularly interdisciplinary collaborations, and inspire scholarly work, including grant activity. This includes, but not limited to, identification and leveraging our faculty's expertise, and targeting resources and opportunities to support scholarly activities.

▼   Adult Speech and Language Lab (ASLL)

The mission of the Adult Speech and Language Lab (ASLL) is to conduct research that contributes to our understanding of speech and language processing in normal and disordered populations, and understanding the mechanism by which multisensory modalities can be combined to optimize language processing. Ongoing studies in the ASLL investigate the factors that contribute to reading impairments in individuals with aphasia, and how neurotypical individuals, both young and older adults, process degraded speech and text information in unimodal and multimodal conditions.

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▼   Auditory Event-Related Potentials (AERP) Lab

The Auditory Event-Related Potentials (AERP) Lab is directed by Dr. Tara Davis. In this lab, we use electrophysiological measures to collect brainwaves related to auditory and cognitive processing. This lab has been primarily focused on age-related differences in AERPs; however, our recent projects have also investigated the AERPs of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or those who stutter.

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▼   Autism, Pediatric Language & Literacy (APLL) Lab

The Autism, Pediatric Language & Literacy (APLL) Lab supports research in a variety of areas. Areas include language development and process for children who are typically developing and language impaired, the language of children with autism, and literacy and phonological awareness impairments. We are interested in the language development for infants through school-aged children.

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▼   Developmental Stuttering Lab

The mission of the Developmental Stuttering Lab is to investigate the contribution of emotion and language to stuttering and to improve understanding of the mechanism by which emotional and linguistic processes influence stuttering. The lab is directed by Dr. Dahye Choi, who joined the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at USA in August 2015. Dr. Choi earned her Ph.D. in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Vanderbilt University.

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▼   Hearing Aid and Aural Rehabilitation (HAAR) Research Lab

The research quest of the Hearing Aid and Aural Rehabilitation (HAAR) Research Lab is to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of aural rehabilitation treatments and hearing aid technologies. Specifically, the research in this lab will seek to investigate the effects of hearing aid use and computerized auditory training on a variety of subjective and objective outcome measures, including measures of listening-related effort, auditory selective and sustained attention and audiovisual integration. We are also interested in using specific measures of speech-in-noise understanding abilities in predicting success with hearing aids in real-world situations, and in developing mathematical models of hearing disability.

In sum, our research will encompass three main activities:
  • To evaluate aural rehabilitation interventions and hearing aid technologies using behavioral and objective outcome measures.
  • To predict individual success with hearing aids and rehabilitative treatments in real world situations.
  • To advance the understanding of the effects of audiovisual integration on hearing aid use and benefit.

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▼   Swallowing Disorders Initiative (SDI) Lab

The Swallowing Disorders Initiative (SDI) lab was founded by Dr. Garand in 2017. The SDI lab focuses on understanding how aging impacts swallowing function and how disease contributes to swallowing impairment (dysphagia), particularly patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). More specifically, our lab investigates:

  • Coordination of breathing and swallowing
  • Respiratory-swallow training on improving respiratory-swallow coordination
  • Impact of pulmonary function on speech and swallowing function
  • Treatment paradigms on improving swallowing function

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▼   Vestibular Research Lab

The Vestibular Research Lab at the University of South Alabama is an interdisciplinary research lab currently conducting research related to balance function in patients with neurologic disorders and patients with known vestibular disorders. One project is specifically aimed at patients with Parkinsonism to help determine early markers for the disorder and to reduce the likelihood of falls in this population. Additional research in the lab is focused on development and validation of a low-cost objective measure of sway in patients with vestibular disorders of peripheral and central origin. The impact of vestibular dysfunction, imbalance, and falls on overall well-being is also being studied in these populations.

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