Hannah Wilt (2019 Cohort)

Hannah Wilt

About me: Growing up in California and France in a French-German family, I have always been fascinated by multilingualism and language learning. During my BSc in Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL, I grew a specific interest in the neurological substrates of speech perception, and a strong vocation to become a researcher in the field. I am currently on the MRes Speech, Language and Cognition programme, conducting research on the role of the primary motor cortex (M1) in speech sound learning as well as undertaking training in web programming and machine learning.

My research: Simulation accounts of speech perception suggest that listeners covertly imitate incoming speech stimuli in order to enhance sound perception. This theory is supported by extensive evidence of enhanced activity in articulatory areas of the primary motor cortex (M1) when listening to speech sounds produced by corresponding articulators. My research explores how this phenomenon relates to second language learning. Using a range of tools (Stimulus-Response Compatibility tasks, transcranial magnetic stimulation, machine learning), I aim to answer the following questions: How does M1 activity during non-native speech sound perception evolve through speech perception training? Can individual M1 activity patterns during speech perception training predict training outcomes?

Supervisors: Dr. Patti Adank

Pathway: Linguistics

Location: UCL Speech Hearing and Phonetic Sciences

Email: hannah.wilt.15@ucl.ac.uk