Carmen is a Senior Research Scientist at the Communication Science Department. She first developed a profound appreciation for language systems (and their interaction with cultural environment), and a never-ending curiosity about the psychology of language when attaining her undergraduate studies in psychology and linguistics at Memorial University Newfoundland, Canada.
Eager to learn more about how listeners understand what they hear and the underlying cognitive and neural processes, she then pursued her graduate studies in cognitive neuroscience with a specialisation in psycholinguistics from Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen and International Max Planck School of Language Sciences in the Netherlands. Subsequently (and before joining NAL), she worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a research associate at Macquarie University Child Language Lab. Her research has been focusing on understanding the processes underlying how listeners’ brains make sense of various components of spoken and written language (e.g., grammar, meaning, prosody, pragmatics), and how these processes can be affected other factors (e.g., cognitive abilities, foreign accent, language learning, development), using a combination of research methods (e.g., behavioural, eye-tracking, and electrophysiological measures).
Current Research Area
Bridging with her previous work, Carmen seeks to understand the neural and cognitive processes underlying speech comprehension in children with hearing loss, and how this knowledge can be translated to evidence-based practice for intervention. Currently, she is heavily involved in longitudinal studies at NAL investigating the effectiveness of early identification and intervention on developmental outcomes of children with hearing loss, and help driving research improving ear and hearing health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
2020 Centre of Research Excellence in Ear and Hearing Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children Project Grant
2019-2020 Hong Kong Polytechnic University Postdoctoral Fellowships Scheme
Population-based longitudinal study that prospectively evaluates the development children with hearing loss
This project will explore the relationship between listening behaviours and language outcomes as well as parent perspectives on teaching children language.
The project will undertake a systematic review of relevant research to summarise the available evidence and identify gaps in the evidence on programs to detect hearing loss beyond UNHS
Investigating the effectiveness of early intervention on developmental outcomes of children with congenital unilateral hearing loss
To devise a clinical method for assessing discrimination of speech sounds in infants and young children; to relate early auditory detection and discrimination abilities to functional listening and language development