About me: I am a speech, language therapist (Fonoaudióloga) from the National University of Colombia. Throughout my university years, I developed a specific interest in deafness and children’s language and communication development. Soon after graduating, I started to work as a speech and language therapist (e.g., the José A. Rivas Clinic, the Colombia University Clinic and Sense International), and saw how hearing impairments, as well as deaf/blind, affect communication in bilingual/bicultural contexts. This has led to an interest in auditory cortical plasticity, specifically its capacity to develop in response to early experience and other environmental factors.
My research: During my MRes and PhD will effort in gaining a deep understanding of how bilingual contexts influence the brain activity of children with sensorineural hearing loss and have Cochlear Implants. Based on my professional experience, I hypothesize that an enriched sensory environment early in life will play an important, positive role in brain development.
The difference my research makes: From this perspective, it would be important to investigate whether the auditory cortex is able to adapt and take advantage of the stimuli coming from bilingual environments and how this information may shape the cortex when auditory sensory input comes through Cochlear Implants.
I believe that understanding auditory cortical plasticity can lead to introducing more effective intervention plans that will help hearing impaired populations to become more integrated into society and multilingual contexts.
Supervisors: Prof Paul Iverson and Prof Stuart Rosen
Location: UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences