The Communication Disorders research group is part of the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics. Our focus is on atypical and impaired communication, language use, language acquisition and language development. Specialist areas in which the group is engaged include aphasia, hearing loss, cleft palate, Specific language Impairment and voice disorders.
Successful communication is dependent on the interaction between a variety of skills including:
- Signalling systems (language, gesture, mimicry, voice),
- Social cognitive and cognitive systems (e.g., shared intentionality, inference, memory),
- Motor output systems (speech organs, hand movements),
- Sensory input ( hearing, vision).
Breakdown in one of these systems can have consequences for other systems and for the ability of an individual to communicate and interact with others. The scope of communication impairment is also related to an individual’s ability to compensate and of a communication partner’s ability to appropriately align interaction with regards to the impairment.
Researchers involved in the Communication Disorders research group have three aims:
- To illuminate atypical communication, language use, language acquisition and language development, and the consequences these entail for the communication of an individual.
- To develop and investigate theoretically motivated evaluation tools and intervention procedures.
- To examine what atypical communication due to cognitive and sensory-motor impairments can tell us about language.
- Aphasia, which is partial or complete loss of language due to insult to specific regions of the left hemisphere.
- Deafness and hearing loss, which is a decrease in the sensitivity of the sensory input system. This has consequences for an individual’s ability to acquire spoken language and can affect cognition.
- Cleft palate which is a condition that affects the motor output system and can negatively influence a child’s pronunciation to the extent that communication with a stranger can be difficult.
- Specific Language Impairment (SLI) –a developmental language disorder that cannot be attributed to other impairments like hearing loss, loss of motor skills or general developmental disorders. However, children with SLI exhibit limitations in processing functions which are central to learning and gaining facility with language. SLI affects a child’s communication and is commonly associated with impaired language production and with receptive difficulties.
- Voice disorders, which of functional, organic, neurological or psychological causes affect the sound or perceptual salience of the voice.
These impairments are represented in the research themes of the group. Another language impairment is dyslexia, and the Communication Disorders research group has a close co-operation with the Centre for Reading Research which is also housed in the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics.
The researchers in the research group are engaged in the following projects:
Language mentor – increased quality of life in children with language learning impairments
Researcher: Rikke Vang Christensen
A comparison of auditive-perceptual evaluation of voice quality using two different rating systems
Researchers: Jenny Iwarsson, Niels Reinholt Petersen, Stine Løvind Thorsen, Anne Bingen Jakobsen, Ditte Søbæk Johansen, Solveig Gunvor Pedersen
Cognitive load of speech production
Researchers: Jenny Iwarsson, David Morris, Laura Winther Balling
Biting inhalation as an emotional discomfort marker in medical talk
Researcher: Jenny Iwarsson, Gritt Overbeck, Ole Olsen
Supporting communicative participation of individuals with aphasia (2015-2017)
Researchers: Lise Randrup Jensen (PI), U of Copenhagen; Elisabeth Ahlsén (co-PI), U of Gothenburg. From SE: Charlotta Saldert, U of Gothenburg; Monica Blom Johansson, U of Uppsala. From the UK: Madeleine Cruice, City U of London; Simon Horton, U of East Anglia; Carole Pound, Bournemouth U. From the US: Nina Simmons-Mackie, Southeastern Louisiana U. From Denmark: Jytte Isaksen, Audiologopedics, U of Southern Denmark.
Habit change through voice and speech therapy
Researcher: Jenny Iwarsson
Postdoc project – Refinement of sound processing in cochlear implants
Researcher/forsker: David Morris, John Tøndering & Søren Riis (mentors)
Is there a correlation between children's basic phonological cemptencies and MLU (mean length of utterance) at the age of three?
Researcher: Elisabeth Willadsen
Phonological development in Danish three year olds born with unilateral cleft lip and palate
Researcher: Elisabeth Willadsen
Phonological development in 5-year-old children with unilateral cleft lip and palate: an international Randomized Clinical Trial
Researchers: Elisabeth Willadsen, Anette Lohmander, Christina Persson, & the Scand Cleft Speech group.
Hypernasality following different primary surgical interventions in 5-year-olds with UCLP: an international Randomised Clinical Trial
Researchers: Christina Persson, Anette Lohmander, Elisabeth Willadsen & the Scandcleft speech group.
Pilot test of a method for studying young children's canonical chatter
Researchers: Elisabeth Willadsen, David Kimborough Oller (University of Memphis) & the Timing of Palatal Surgery (TOPS) Speech core group