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Julia Irwin

irwin

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Connecticut


Email: irwinj1@southernct.edu

Phone: (203) 392-8804

Research interests:
Language development, communication, speech perception, autism, developmental disability


Research program:

My research program explores the development of communication and language. Within this broad area, my current research focuses on the role of the face in the perception of speech. I use a lifespan approach to examine the development of audiovisual speech perception in typically developing children and adults. Recently, I have begun extending my basic research on typical individuals to assess individual differences in audiovisual speech perception in special populations, including children with autism spectrum disorders, poor readers and stutterers. My work makes use of multiple methodologies, including eye-tracking, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event related potentials (ERP) to assess key factors that underlie perception of seen and heard speech and their spatial and temporal signatures.

Publications: (student authors in italics)

Irwin, J. & DiBlasi, L.(accepted with minor revisions). Audiovisual speech perception: An update and implications for clinical populations. Language and Linguistics Compass.

Irwin, J.& Brancazio, L. (2015).The development of patterns of gaze to a speaking face. Published in proceedings from the first joint conference on facial analysis, animation and auditory-visual speech processing (FAAVSP), Vienna, Austria.

Preston, J.L., Irwin, J.R. & Turcios, J. (2015). Perception of speech sounds in school-age children with speech sound disorders. Seminars in Speech and Language, 36: 224-233.doi:10.1055/s-0035-1562906.

Irwin, J.R., Preston, J.L, Brancazio, L., D’Angelo, M. & Turcios, J. (2014). Development of an Audiovisual Speech Perception App for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics. doi:10.3109/02699206.2014.966395.

Preston, J.L., Molfese, P., Gumkowski, N., Sorcinelli, A., Harwood, V., Irwin, J. & Landi, N. (2014). Neurophysiology of speech differences in childhood apraxia of speech. Developmental Neuropsychology, 39(5), 385-403. doi:10.1080/87565641.2014.939181

Irwin, J.R. & Brancazio, L. (2014). Seeing to hear? Patterns of gaze to speaking faces in children with autism spectrum  disorders. Frontiers, Language Sciences. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00397.

Mulak, K. E., Best, C.T., Tyler, M.D., Kitamura, C., Bundgaard-Nielsen, R.L. & Irwin, J.R. (2013). Development of phonological constancy: 19-month-olds, but not 15-month-olds, identify words spoken in a non-native regional accent. Child Development, Vol 84(6), 2064-2078.

Irwin, J.R., Moore, D.L, Tornatore, L. & Fowler, A. (2012). Promoting Emerging Language and Literacy during Storytime. Children and Libraries, 21-25.

Mirman, D. Irwin, J.R. & Stephen, D. (2012) Eye Movement Dynamics and Cognitive Self Organization in Typical and Atypical Development. Cognitive Neurodynamics, 6, 61-73.

Irwin, J.R., Mencl, W.E., Frost, S.J., Chen, H.& Fowler, C. (2011). Functional activation for imitation of seen and heard speech. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 24, 611-618.

Irwin, J.R., Tornatore, L.A., Brancazio. L & Whalen, D.H. (2011). Can children with autism spectrum disorders “hear” a speaking face? Child Development, 82(5) 1397-1403.

Katz, L., Brancazio, L, Irwin, J., Katz, S., Magnuson, J., Scarborough, H. & Whalen, D. (2011)  What Lexical Decision and Naming Tell Us About Reading. Reading and Writing, 25,1259–1282.

Mongillo, E.A., Irwin, J.R., Whalen, D.H., Klaiman, C., Carter, A.S. & Schultz, R.T. (2008). Audiovisual processing in children with and without autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 38,1439-58.

Irwin, J.R. (2007). Auditory and audiovisual speech perception in children with autism spectrum disorders. Acoustics Today, 7-15.

Irwin, J.R., Whalen, D.H., & Fowler, C.A.  (2006). A sex difference in visual influence on heard speech. Perception & Psychophysics, 68,582-592.

Irwin, J.R. (2003).  Parent and non-parent perception of the multimodal infant cry.  Infancy, 4, 503-516.

Irwin, J.R., Carter, A.S., & Briggs-Gowan, M.  (2002).  The social-emotional development of late-talking toddlers.  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 4, 1324-1332.

Horwitz, S.M., Irwin, J.R, Briggs-Gowan, M.J., Heenan, J. B., Mendoza, J. & Carter, A.S. (2003).  Language Delay in a Community Cohort of Young Children.  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 42, 932-940.

Briggs-Gowan, M.J., Carter, A.S., Irwin, J.R., Wachtel, K., & Cicchetti, D. (2004).  The Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment: Screening for social-emotional problems and delays in competence.  Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 29, 143-155.

Whalen, D.H., Best, C.T. & Irwin, J. (1997).  Lexical effects in the perception and production of American English /p/ allophones. Journal of Phonetics, 25, 501- 528.

Green, J.A., Gustafson, G.E., Irwin, J.R., Kalinowski, L. L. & Wood, R.M. (1995).  Infant crying: acoustics, perception and communication.  Early Development and Parenting, 4, 1-15.

 

Books and Book Chapters

Irwin, J.R. and Moore, D. (2014).  Preparing Children for Reading Success: Hands-on activities for Caregivers, Educators and Librarians. Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, ISBN 0810892537.

Green, J.A., Irwin, J. R. & Gustafson, G.E. (1999).  Acoustic cry analysis, neonatal status, and long -term developmental outcomes.  Crying as a signal, a sign and a symptom: Developmental, emotional and clinical aspects of crying behavior in infants and toddlers. Barr, R.G., Hopkins, B., & Green, J. (Eds.). MacKeith Press.

 

Recent Conference Presentations

Irwin, J. (June, 2016). Seeing to hear: Audiovisual speech perception as a tool for understanding special populations. Invited symposium 40 Years of the McGurk-MacDonald Effect. The 17th International Multisensory Research Forum, Suzhou, China.

Bernier, K., Halas, L., Lasto, C. & Irwin, J. (April, 2016). Autism and speech comprehension: Timing and amplitude differences in discriminating speech sounds. Second Annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut.

DeMartino, K., Rispoli, T., Turcios, J. & Irwin, J. (April, 2016). Tracking the effectiveness of an iPad app to improve speech perception. Second Annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut.

Shine, T., Duffy, K., Hoffmann, W., Turcios, J., & Irwin, J. (April, 2016). Language and social communicative differences between children with autism, speech sound disorders and typical development. Second Annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut.

Irwin, J. (March, 2016). Audiovisual speech perception in children with autism spectrum disorder. Invited Symposium: A Look at the Current Research in Autism: Imitation, Speech Perception and Intervention. Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, New York, New York.

Cuevas, K., Bryant, L., Landi, N., & Irwin, J. (March, 2016). Audio-visual speech integration in children with autism spectrum disorder: EEG coherence analysis. Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, New York, New York.

Irwin, J. (November, 2015). Positive Early Experiences to Support Language and Literacy.  Forum: “Early Literacy Experiences, the Brain, and Child Development”. Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT. Sponsored by the New Haven Literacy Coalition.

Cook, B., Turcios, J., Volpe, N. & Irwin, J. (November, 2015). Ethical Application of EBP interventions during  a research protocol supporting participation of individuals with ASD. Meeting of the American Speech and Hearing Association, Denver, Colorado.

Irwin, J., Brancazio, L., Turcios, J., Avery, T. & Landi, N. (October, 2015). A Method for Assessing Audiovisual Speech Integration: Implications for Children with ASD. Presented at the meeting of the Society for Neurobiology of Language, Chicago, Illinois.

Irwin, J.& Brancazio, L. (2015).The development of patterns of gaze to a speaking face. Presented at the first joint conference on facial analysis, animation and auditory-visual speech processing (FAAVSP), Vienna, Austria.

Turcios, J, DiBlasi, L., Brancazio, L. & Irwin, J.R. (March, 2015).  Gaze to faces in children of clinical populations. Southern Connecticut State University Undergraduate Research Conference, New Haven, Connecticut.

DeMartino, K., Rispoli, T. & Irwin, J.R. (March, 2015).  Listening to Faces; An iPad app for training children with autism in speech comprehension. Southern Connecticut State University Undergraduate Research Conference, New Haven, Connecticut.

Brancazio, L., Moore, D., Tyska, K., Burke, S., Cosgrove, D. & Irwin, J. (May, 2015).McGurk-like effects of subtle audiovisual mismatch in speech perception. Presented at the 27th annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, May 23, 2015.

Turcios, J., Gumkowski ,N., Brancazio, L. & Irwin, J. (May, 2015). Gaze to faces in children with autism, speech sound disorder and typical development. Presented at the 27th annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, May 23, 2015.

Irwin, J., Brancazio, L., Turcios, J., Gumkowski, N., & Preston, J. (November, 2014). Seeing to hear? Patterns of gaze to speaking faces in children with autism spectrum disorders. Boston University Child Language Development conference (BUCLD), Boston, MA.

Cuevas, K, Bryant, L. Landi, N., & Irwin, J.R. (November, 2014). Functional connectivity during audio-visual speech integration: Comparisons between TD children and children with ASD.  Meeting, International Society for Psychobiology, Washington, DC.

Turcios, J., Brancazio, L. & Irwin, J. (May, 2014). Can children with autism spectrum disorders see speech? Invited talk, Connecticut State Universities Psychology Day, Central Connecticut State University.

Gumkowski, N., Preston, J., Molfese, P., Landi, N. Sorcinelli, A., Harwood, V. & Irwin, J. (April, 2014). Neurophysiological differences in childhood apraxia of speech. University of Connecticut Language Fest. Storrs, CT.

Turcios, J., Brancazio, L., Gumkowski, N., Landi, N. & Irwin, J.  (April, 2014). Patterns of gaze to speaking faces in individuals with autism spectrum disorders and typical development. University of Connecticut Language Fest. Storrs, CT.

Irwin, J.R., (March, 2014).Perception of speaking faces in children with autism spectrum disorders and typical controls.SUNY New Paltz Cognitive Sciences Colloquium, Department of Psychology.

Irwin, J.R., (November 2013). Perception of speaking faces in children with autism spectrum disorders and typical controls. University of Massachusetts Cognitive Science Colloquium, Department of Psychology.

Irwin, J.R., & Brancazio, L. (September, 2013).Audiovisual speech perception in children with autism spectrum disorders and typical controls. Conference on Audiovisual Speech Processing (AVSP2013), Annecy, France.

Turcios, J., Beltran, L., Brancazio, L. & Irwin, J.R. (May, 2013). Patterns of gaze to the speaking face in children with autism spectrum disorders. Connecticut State University Psychology day, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut.

Carolan, E., Robison, J., Preston, J. & Irwin, J.R. (April, 2013). Seeing to hear? Patterns of gaze to the speaking face in children with autism spectrum disorders. Annual meeting of the Connecticut Speech and Hearing Association (CSHA), Cromwell, Connecticut.

Sorcinelli, Irwin, Brancazio, Gumkowski, Preston & Landi (May, 2013).  Diminished audiovisual speech perception integration for children with autism spectrum disorders. American Psychological Society annual convention, Washington, DC.

Irwin, J.R. (March 2013). Audiovisual speech perception: Lessons from special populations and neurobiological markers.Invited talk, New York University Department of Speech and Hearing, New York, New York.

Irwin, J.R. (May 2012). Audiovisual speech perception: Lessons from special populations. Invited talk, Alvin and Isabelle Liberman Memorial Workshop: Applied and Conceptual Issues in Speech Perception and Production. Storrs, Connecticut.

Irwin, J.R., Brancazio, L., Tornatore, L. & Ross , J. (July 2011). Patterns of gaze to speaking faces in children with autism spectrum disorders. Presented at the International Conference of the Association of Child Language (IASCL), Montreal, Canada.

Irwin, J.R., Landi, N., Brancazio, L., Kennedy, A. & Grohman, E. (July 2011). An ERP investigation of auditory and audiovisual speech in children with autism spectrum disorders. Presented at the International Conference of the Association of Child Language (IASCL), Montreal, Canada.

Irwin, J.R. (July 2011). What eye-tracking reveals about speech and language in children with autism. Invited Symposium presented at the International Conference of the Association of Child Language (IASCL), Montreal, Canada.

 

Student-Authored Papers

Turcios, J. (2015).  Patterns of gaze in children with autism spectrum disorders.Journal of Student Psychological Research, Volume 3. Project advisor: Irwin.        

Sorcinelli, A. (2014). Reverse laterality for speech perception for children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Student Psychological Research, Volume 2. Project adviser: Irwin.

Randazzo, E. (2012). Acoustic characteristics of speech in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Student Psychological Research, Volume 1. Project adviser: Irwin.

 

Research Support: External Funding

Pending:       Investigator, “Neurocognitive development of language and literacy in high risk environments: A cross-cultural perspective”. National Science Foundation Science of Learning Collaborative Network.

2014-2017      Principal Investigator, “Neurobiological Signatures of Perception and Imitation in Children with ASD”. AREA Award, National Institutes of Health, Division of Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD).  Awarded to Southern Connecticut State University, subcontracts to Haskins Laboratories and the University of Connecticut. 494,000 total award.

2011-2014      Principal Investigator, “Neurobiological Correlates of Audiovisual Speech Perception in Children with ASD”. National Institutes of Health, Division of Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Awarded to Haskins Laboratories. 458,000 total award.

2012-2017      Investigator, “Nature of the Speech Code and Reading“  (Kenneth Pugh, PI), National            Institutes of Health, Division of Child and Human Development (NICHD). Awarded to Haskins Laboratories. 9,000,000 total award.

2013-2015      Consultant, Children’s Generalization and Adaptation to Unfamiliar Regional Accents Reveal the Path of Early Word Learning (Catherine Best and Christine Kitamura, Co-PI’s). Australian Research Council (ARC). Awarded to the MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney.

2012-2014      Investigator, A Comparison of Prosodic Speech in Children with Typical Development and Autism Spectrum Disorders (Lucie Menard, PI). Canadian Insight Award awarded to the Center for Language, Music and Brain, McGill University and the University of Quebec at Montreal.

2006-2009      Principal Investigator, “Audiovisual Speech Integration in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders”, National Institutes of Health, Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD). 300,000 total award.

2003-2007      Investigator, “Early Ontogeny of Attunement to the Language Environment (Catherine T. Best, PI) to Haskins Laboratories (NICHD).

 

Popular Press Citations

Interview with Lisa Carberg, NBC30 “Toddlers and Tablets”. December, 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Toddlers-and-Tablets/283402651

Preparing Children for Reading Success: Hands-on activities for Caregivers, Educators and Librarians mentioned on the Faith Middleton Show January 8, 2015. http://wnpr.org/post/bookshow-january-8-2015

Feature in the New Haven Register January 19, 2015 http://www.nhregister.com/health/20150118/scsu-research-looks-at-autism-how-the-brain-works#.VL5q7LIt_Zc.email

Feature/story on WTNH Channel 8 January 19, 2015 http://wtnh.com/2015/01/19/autism-study-at-southern-connecticut-state-university/

Article in the Yale Daily News 2/3/2015 http://yaledailynews.com/magazine/2015/02/03/the-sounds-that-bind-us/

Article in the Fox News Mommy Minute blog February 27, 2015 http://www.ctnow.com/family/ctn-scsu-needs-volunteers-for-autism-project-20150226,0,7519460.column

Interview feature/story on Channel 3 news February 12, 2015 with Nicole Nalepa http://www.wfsb.com/story/28407761/scsu-researchers-looking-for-underlying-communication-difficulties-among-those-with-autism 

Interview feature/story with Sarah Cody on Fox news Mommy Minute on August 24, 2015: http://foxct.com/2015/08/24/listening-to-faces-examines-communication-skills-of-kids-with-autism/

Story in the Hartford Courant August 24, 2015: http://www.courant.com/features/hc-mommy-minute-0824-20150824-story.html

 

 

Research Internship:

Every semester, students can register for Psy 197 (Research Internship) for up to three credits. Psych 197 is a great opportunity to gain first-hand experience in how cognitive psychology research is conducted. Students enrolled in Psych 197 are responsible for running participants in experiments, and get involved in various aspects of the research process, such as organizing data and files, scheduling and cataloging participants, and helping with data analysis.

If you are interested in enrolling in Psych 197, please email me during the registration period or during the add/drop period.

Independent Study/ Undergraduate Honors Thesis / Master's Thesis:
If you have an idea for a Research Study that you would like to conduct that involves language/communication in children or adults, please come see me so we can discuss how to set up an independent study project.

Off-Campus Research Internships and Other Research Opportunities:
Haskins Laboratories and Haskins Laboratories Child Language Studies has many ongoing projects involving several aspects of speech perception, speech production, and reading, including skilled reading, reading acquisition, and reading disability. There are sometimes opportunities for psychology majors to do an internship working with research teams at Haskins, by registering for Psych 463 (Field Practicum in Psychological Research).