Language and Working Memory LabWestern Health Sciences



Laura Pauls, MA, MClSc

PhD Candidate

Biography / Research Interests: Laura is a Ph.D. student researching the intersection of language and working memory ability in children with impairments in one or both of these domains. To address this question, Laura's research looks at how language and working memory contribute to children's ability to recall stories and what the linguistic characteristics of these stories can tell us about the speakers' abilities. Her research has also tested how children with language or working memory impairment respond to different types of intervention, including story-based language intervention and computerized training program. Before joining the LWM Lab, Laura completed her M.Cl.Sc. in Speech-Language Pathology, also at Western.

Nicolette Noonan, MSc

PhD Candidate

Biography / Research Interests: Nicolette is a Ph.D. student in Psychology investigating statistical language learning. Her research is interested in whether statistical language learning involves language-specific or domain-general contributions. Part of her research focuses on what differentiates a typical language learner from someone with a language learning impairment, and how abilities in statistical learning may contribute to these differences. Her work uses behavioural measures and ERPs to exam behavioural and neural correlates of language learning.

Alexandra Cross, MSc

M.Cl.Sc/PhD Candidate

Biography / Research Interests: Alex is a second year student in the combined M.Cl.Sc. and Ph.D. program in Speech-Language Pathology, studying reading and language impairments in children. She uses behavioural methods, eyetracking, and MRI to examine reading and language development and response to intervention. She completed her M.Sc. in Psychology at Western University and her B.Sc.H. in Psychology at Queen's University.

Meghan Dianne Lynn Vollebregt, BA

M.Cl.Sc/PhD Student

Biography / Research Interests: Meghan is in her first year of the combined MClSc/PhD program. Her current research focus is on evaluating school based language interventions and examining implementation science in the field of speech language pathology. She completed her undergraduate degree at Western University studying psychology.

Alyssa Kuiack, BA

M.Cl.Sc/PhD Student

Biography / Research Interests: Alyssa graduated from Huron University College at Western with an Honours Specialization in Psychology and a Minor in French. She has worked for 3 years in the Infant and Child Development lab at Huron focusing primarily on early language acquisition in infants and word learning in toddlers. She is entering the first year of the Combined MClSc/PhD program and looks forward to investigating vocabulary acquisition and the cognitive processes that influence this development. By researching and breaking down the processes by which we learn a language, she hopes to explore and develop better methods of vocabulary assessment for children struggling to learn language and of those learning more than one language simultaneously.

Theresa Pham, BSc

M.Cl.Sc/PhD Student

Biography / Research Interests: Theresa is a first year student in the combined MClSc/PhD program in speech-language pathology. She is interested in the cognitive mechanisms that support word learning; and how cognitive development and memory systems support or constrain this learning. She completed her BSc in Psychology and Linguistics at the University of Toronto.

Renata Lohmann, BA

MA Student

Biography / Research Interests: Ren is entering her second year as a Masters in Linguistics student in the LWM lab. Her research focuses on working memory as it relates to linguistics and language impairments in school age children. She completed her Honours Specialization BA in English Language & Literature with a Major in Linguistics from Western University.

Braxton Murphy

Biography / Research Interests: Braxton Murphy is a third-year undergraduate student in Neuroscience and does research in the Lab through the Scholar’s Electives Program at Western. Under the supervision of Dr. Archibald, Braxton explores the applications of statistical language learning in large-scale artificial languages.

Areej Balilah, MSc

PhD Candidate

Biography / Research Interests: Areej is a doctoral student in Speech and Language Science. She studies language development and impairment in monolingual and bilingual Arabic-speaking children. Her primary research interest is the assessment of monolingual Arabic-speaking children, and Arabic-English bilingual children. Her most recent research focuses on understanding English Language Learners’ (ELLs’) performance on linguistic measures (Arabic L1 and English L2) and cognitive measures relative to age-level expectations for monolingual speakers.  She is also interested in understanding the influence of a number of relevant experiential factors on ELLs’ performance such as age of first exposure, the richness of language environment outside of school, and current use patterns.