Faculty Feature of the Month

July 9, 2021 - Ireland Ingram

Translating thoughts into spoken words is a seemingly effortless ability, one easily taken for granted, yet speech production is a fascinating and remarkably complex process. Dr. Walsh's research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the development of stuttering in young children. She uses a multilevel approach combining neuroimaging, articulatory kinematics, autonomic nervous system recordings, and behavioral approaches to assess how stuttering emerges in young children, and to answer critical questions about why many young children recover from early stuttering while others persist and develop a lifelong chronic condition.

Her most recent project put a speech development lab on wheels to help better reach children and families. In March 2020, Dr. Walsh received a $3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support her study of risk factors in children that lead to stuttering in adults. Due to public health concerns from the pandemic and limitations of face-to-face research in a lab, Dr. Walsh decided to create a mobile speech lab.

Dr. Walsh stated in a recent interview, “The pandemic inspired me to think outside the box. I have seen RV labs being used by researchers in different fields and at different institutions. By bringing our research into communities, we can reach a wider range of kids to participate in our studies.”


Read more about her Mobile Speech Lab.