Language and Neurodevelopmental Trajectories Lab

(Directed by Dr. Eileen Haebig)

In the Language NeT Lab we examine how children with neurodevelopmental disorders develop language. Within neurodevelopmental disorders, our lab primarily focuses on language abilities in autistic children, children with developmental language disorder (DLD, also frequently referred to as specific language impairment, SLI), and children with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Although each group has unique features, we have learned that there are also areas of overlap. We also are interested in examining how language features within and across groups change over time. The Language NeT Lab employs a multi-level approach to address our overarching research questions. As such, research studies incorporate behavioral coding, eye tracking, language sample analysis, and event related brain potentials (ERPs) to examine language learning and processing in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. The ultimate goal of the Language NeT Lab is to gain insight into evidence-based approaches to support clinical assessment and intervention.

Click here for a video tour of the lab and research description.

Lab Accomplishments

  • Dr. Haebig received a 3-year federal research grant from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD -- R21 Early Career Researcher award). The studies that are associated with this grant will examine whether retrieval practice (which involves testing newly learned information) promotes word learning in autistic children better than re-studying. Our recent work has documented that retrieval practice helps preschool children with typical development and preschool children with language disorders to learn new words. We will apply similar procedures to examine whether retrieval practice promotes word learning and generalization in autistic children between 4 and 10 years of age. 
  • Dr. Haebig received a 3-year research grant that is supporting studies that aim to better understand how autistic children process the words that they know and how they learn new words. We will use different methods to answer our research questions.
  • Dr. Haebig received the ASHA New Investigators Grant that will support a word learning study that is examining retrieval practice in children with typical language development and autistic children.

  • One of our PhD students, Stan West, received the Richard M. Griffith Memorial Award for his oral presentation at the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

Recent Research Findings

 Jena and Dr. Haebig presenting research at the undergraduate research symposium
Language NeT Lab centers
Claire and Eileen presenting at INSAR

What Our Lab Is Up To

The Language NeT lab members are currently working with researchers at Purdue University to analyze data from a word learning study that preschoolers participated in with Dr. Haebig, Dr. Leonard, Dr. Weber, and Dr. Deevy.