I enjoy the creative process of deeply exploring a research question, designing the paradigm, conducting the experiment itself, learning new statistical analysis techniques, and sharing our findings. Working with teams of other graduate and undergraduate students, I’ve overseen five psycholinguistic studies in the Phonetics Lab and two neuroimaging studies (fMRI) in the Cognitive Neurolinguistic Laboratory.

I have always been curious as to the interaction of musical training and language. I remember as a young child taking recorder and piano lessons down the street, learning the structure of chords in theory classes and how to read musical notation. Later, as I started learning languages myself in middle and high school, I noticed similarities across the domains at many different levels — from sound-to-meaning correspondences to structural and hierarchical relationships.

Now, as a graduate student, my principal focus is on the effects of musical training on speech perception and production. I’ve previously done work exploring reading and patterns of neural lateralization in the purported ‘visual word form area’ for musicians (relative to nonmusicians) in a small fMRI pilot study that also served as my thesis. How patterns of activation shift with training continues to fascinate me — particularly also for the potential benefit to patients with aphasia (as some work has suggested that melodic intonation therapy has been useful for Broca’s aphasiacs).

My current work for my dissertation explores musical training, age, and speech-in-noise perception/production in a series of psycholinguistic experiments. For more on my current projects, go to Research.


  • Ph.D. Linguistics, UC Davis (In progress)
  • BA Linguistics & Italian Studies, UCSB (2012)

Other education

  • Music, Language, & Cognition Summer School, Lake Como School of Advanced Studies (2017)
  • Undocu-Ally Program for Educators, UC Davis (2017)
  • UC Entrepreneurship Academy, UC Davis (2017)
  • Learner-Centered Teaching Workshop Series, UC Davis (2013)
  • 3T Tim Trio MRI Operator Training, UC Davis Imaging and Research Center (2013)
  • Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Summer Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder (2011)