Lab Director

yangMEG The Lab Director, Dr. Yang Zhang (PhD), is an associate professor in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, affiliated with the Center for Neurobehavioral Development and the Center for Applied Translational Sensory Science, University of Minnesota. Zhang obtained his PhD in Speech & Hearing Sciences from University of Washington, Seattle (Committee members: Patricia Kuhl; Toshiaki Imada; David Corina; Lee Osterhout; Margaret Rogers) and did postdoctoral research at the Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS), University of Washington. He also received brain imaging training (1999 ~ 2001) at the Communication Science Laboratories and Basic Research Laboratories of Nippon Telephone & Telegraph Corporation in Japan. During his postdoctoral training, Zhang worked with world-leading scientists at Hitachi Medical Systems, BioMag Laboratory (Helsinki), and Eleka Neuromag (including Dr. Samu Taulu, current director of the I-LABS MEG Brain Imaging Center) on infant MEG and Optical Topography (also known as NIRS) projects. Zhang conducts an active research program on the neural basis of speech communication and language acquisition with collaborators home and abroad.
Yang Zhang

On-site Collaborators

Jiang.jpg Jiang Liu: Dr. Jiang Liu (PhD) joined in the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures at UMN in 2013. Right now, he is the Associate Director of a federally funded Chinese Flagship Program. Previously, he studied Linguistics at the University of Kansas focusing on psycholinguistics and phonology. He also studied speech and language processing at Edinburgh University in Scotland. His research interests lie in language acquisition and teaching, phonetics and phonology. He is currently conducting neurophysiological experiments on word recognition in Zhang lab.
Jiang Liu

PhD Students

Tess.jpg Tess Koerner: Dr. Tess Koerner (AuD, CCC-A) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. She received her AuD degree from the same department in 2014 after a yearlong externship at the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System. She is a winner of multiple prestigious awards, including the ASHA New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship and the Charles Speaks Graduate Fellowship. Her dissertation work aims to examine the neural correlates of speech perception in noise in normal hearing and hearing impaired listeners. After completion of the PhD program, Tess hopes to continue conducting neurophysiological research on cortical auditory processing in clinical populations with hearing loss.
Tess Koerner
Luodi.jpg Luodi Yu: Luodi Yu received her bachelor and masters degrees in psychology in China (Jilin University and South China Normal University, respectively). Currently, she is working on several speech perception and auditory processing projects using EEG, fMRI, and psychoacoustic methods. She is particularly interested in cortical and subcortical auditory processing impacting speech perception in individuals with autism, as well as cross-language issues (e.g., pitch perception in tone and non-tone language speakers).
Luodi Yu
Chieh.jpg Chieh Kao: Chieh received her bachelor degree in Psychology at National Taiwan University. She had research experiences with infants, children with cochlear implants, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, focusing on their emotional and tonal speech perception. She is interested in how preschoolers process speech sounds under complex situations, and the neural network underlying that processing.
Chieh Kao

Research Assistants

2016 Daniel L. McFadden and Beverlee T. Simboli Lab Research Award Recipient
Jeff.jpg Jeffrey Boucher: Jeff is from Twin Lakes, WI and is currently a Senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry. He is interested in the neural coding of perception, particularly audition, and the ways in which attention interacts with these codes.
Jeffrey Boucher
2016 CLA Freshman Research Award Recipients
Kayla.jpg Kayla Dittenhauser: Kayla is from Sioux Falls, SD. Currently She is majoring in Speech Language Hearing Sciences, and Global Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. She is interested in research that studies language acquisition, and development. In the future, She would like to participate in research that not only involves the scientific side of communication, but the psychological side as well.
Kayla Dittenhauser
Laura.png Laura McGuigan: Laura is from Fargo, ND and currently a Freshman studying Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. She is very interested in brain plasticity and specifically how the brain and nervous system influence a person's cognition and behaviors.
Laura McGuigan


Former PhD advisees:

Former visiting scholars/students:
Xueping.jpg 2016 Visiting scholar: Xueping Xu, (PhD, Professor), comes from South China Normal University in Guangzhou City, China. His research interests are cognitive linguistics, pragmatics, language acquisition and teaching. He has published many research papers in Chinese and English, and his monograph book in English entitled “An Experimental Pragmatic Study of Spatial Demonstratives” was published by China Social Sciences Press in 2011 in Beijing. He is currently doing a project with Dr. Zhang on the use of spatial demonstratives in social communication.
Xueping Xu
  • 2014-2015 Xiaohu Yang, PhD, Associate Professor, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China.
  • 2013-2014 Bing Cheng, PhD, Associate Professor, Xi'an Jiaotong University, China.
  • 2015 Xiaoyue Wang, MA student, South China Normal University.
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