For grading, online discussion, and other purposes, the course web sites have migrated to the uniform University Course web sites using Moodle, which students can access with the University student ID and password. The course pages on the Zhang Lab web site only keep the basic information such as syllabus and course description.

SLHS 1301W The Physics and Biology of Spoken Language

(4 credits; meets physical science core and writing requirements)

NEW: This course will be offered for Summer 2011. See course flyer here. Register online through UMN ONESTOP Course Schedule (Select term: Summer 2011 and subject: Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences - SLHS.)

This course covers the physics and biology of spoken language, from the talker’s production of sounds and words, to the transmission of sound, to the listener’s perception of what was said. Computer analysis and synthesis of speech are incorporated into the course content.

Please click here for a tentative syllabus for SLHS 1301W, Spring 2010.

For buying textbook online, please click the icon for "The Speech Chain: The Physics and Biology of the Spoken Language."

SLHS 1302 Rate Your World

(3 credits; meets mathematical thinking core requirement)
This is a course that meets the Mathematical Thinking Core requirements. Spoken language provides a natural context within which students can develop quantitative thinking skills. In this introductory course, quantitative analytical tools are presented and discussed with specific research questions about human speech. By studying human spoken communication, one can learn to quantify, measure, compare, plot and analyze behavioral data. In the process of developing these mathematical thinking skills, students will learn to define quantifiable behaviors; to determine whether the quantities are categorical, ordinal or interval; to determine whether the measures are physical or psychological; and to graph, table, and describe the trends in the data. Students will learn the fallacies of overgeneralization, bias, and measurement error. Students will make observations, calculate central tendencies and trends, analyze results, plot trends, and make inferences. Throughout the course, students will have hands-on experiences in small groups that will allow peer-based learning to supplement the lecture information.

Please click here for a tentative syllabus for SLHS 1302, Spring 2012.

SLHS 1402 The Talking Brain

(3 credits; meets Lib Ed req of Social Science Core)

This ENTRY-LEVEL course deals with a quintessential aspect of human nature - how the brain supports language. Topics include (a) basic knowledge on anatomy and physiology of neural network involved in producing and understanding speech and language, (b) basic knowledge on the acoustic features of spoken language and sound patterns of language, (c) basic knowledge on the structure of language and language acquisition, (d) modern brain research techniques and the hot topics in cognitive neuroscience of language and music, (e) Research findings from normal populations ( the developing brain, mature brain, aging brain, bilingual brain) and clinical populations (aphasia, amusia, dyslexia, central auditory processing disorder, autism spectrum disorder, language-specific impairment). Theoretical importance, empirical limitation, and societal impacts of the research findings will be discussed.

Please click here for a tentative syllabus for SLHS 1402, Spring 2012.
Click here to find the free software, BrainVoyager Brain Tutor, which will be used for SLHS1402.
Example of brain activities for speech perception, taken from Zhang et al. (2005).

SLHS 1942 Language and Communication Technologies

This is a new course to be offered as Freshman Seminar in Fall, 2014. The course fulfills the technology theme for liberal education requirement at the University of Minnesota. In this course, we examine language and communication technologies that have fundamentally changed our day-to-day lives. Discussion topics cover a list of modern language technologies, including digital reading, automatic speech recognition and synthesis, text-to-speech system, human-machine dialog systems, machine translation, hearing assistive devices (hearing aid and cochlear implant), and brain-computer interface. To help students understand the science and engineering behind each technology, the course will introduce the brief history of the technological innovations and the key concepts and scientific principles that these inventions depend on. Students will be given a number of assignments, including in-class labs of speech analysis and synthesis, evaluation of machine translation technologies, and video observations of brain imaging technology and brain-computer interface.

Click here for course syllabus.

SLHS 3301 Introduction to Acoustics

(3 credits; meets physical science requirement)
This course addresses elements of acoustics necessary to understand quantitative aspects of speech and hearing science, speech-language pathology, and audiology. The nature of sound, sound transmission, simple harmonic motion, sound intensity and pressure, complex waves, resonance and filtering, and distortion is discussed.
Click here for sample syllabus, Fall, 2008.

SLHS 4301 Introduction to Neuroscience of Human Communication

(3 credits)
This course is intended to provide students with an overview of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuroscience pertinent to processes of human communication behavior and disorders of communication. Although it is intended for students who are majoring in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, students with some science background are welcome. Emphasis is on structural and functional relationships necessary for speech, language, hearing, and cognition although a general knowledge of the nervous system is first required. Topics include: gross anatomy of central and peripheral nervous systems; sensory systems, especially special systems (vision, auditory, gustatory), motor systems, and functional hemisphere and cortical organization. Neuropathology of stroke, progressive diseases, traumatic brain injury and other neurological disorders that result in cognitive or communication disorders are emphasized throughout the course, after an introduction to current diagnostic techniques.

SLHS 8530/8630 Doctoral Student Seminars

HSem 3059H The Neuroscience of Music and Language

Meets Tuesday, Thursday, 2:30–3:45pm, Shevlin 20, Fall, 2015

Music and language are fascinating products of the human brain. This seminar highlights modern brain research studies on the associations and disassociations between music and language. We will compare music and language in all aspects of structure and use in comparison. We are especially interested in how infants acquire their linguistic and emotional expressive power and how the early learning experience alters the brain, thereby affecting an individual's future perceptions and actions. Both historical perspectives and current research will be introduced and discussed.

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