Hello! I’m a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Phonetics Lab in the UC Davis Department of Linguistics. I received my Ph.D in Linguistics in 2018 from UC Davis, as well. [bio]

I’m also currently a Visiting Researcher with the Google Responsible AI and Human-Centered Technology (HCT) User Experience (UX) Team (provided by Magnit) and a Senior Scientist Consultant for Neurobehavioral Systems.

My research program aims to uncover the cognitive factors that shape how people produce and perceive phonetic details in speech. My approach combines theories and experimental approaches from cognitive science, psycholinguistics, phonetics, and human-computer interaction.

Broadly, I am interested in three main areas:

  1. Intelligibility: How do people adapt to presumed and real barriers to intelligibility (e.g., background noise, ASR listeners, face-masks) in the way they produce/perceive speech?
  2. Social connection / sociophonetics: How are interpersonal dynamics conveyed through speech patterns? How do these dynamics vary when talking to another person, compared to voice technology (e.g., voice assistants, robots, etc.)?
  3. Individual differences: How do individuals vary in the way they produce/perceive/learn speech? What is the role of experience (e.g., musical training), development (e.g., age), and cognitive traits (e.g., autistic-like traits, depression) on these patterns?


mdcohn at ucdavis dot edut


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