Current Lab Members

Rachel I. Mayberry, PhD
Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Multimodal Language Development

Marla Hatrak
Lab Manager/Research Assistant
Marla Hatrak serves as the lab manager. She received her B.A. in English from Gallaudet University and is working on a Masters degree in early childhood education. Her research experience includes working closely with Ursula Bellgui and Ed Klima on groundbreaking sign language research at the Salk Institute of Biological Sciences. In addition to her research experience, Marla has experience working in the publishing industry.

Agnes K Villwock, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow
I studied Sign Language Studies and Economics at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and worked as a student assistant for Christian Rathmann at the Institute for German Sign Language. As a graduate student, I spent a semester abroad at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where I worked with Jill Morford on a project investigating co-activation of American Sign Language (ASL) and written English. After finishing my Magister Artium (M.A.), I started my doctoral studies with Brigitte Roeder in the laboratory for Biological Psychology and Neuropsychology at the University of Hamburg in 2012. In my dissertation project, I investigated the impact of congenital deafness on the processing of visual, tactile, and crossmodal stimuli, applying EEG and behavioral measures. I joined the Mayberry Laboratory for Multimodal Language Development as a post-doc in October 2016 and am involved in a project investigating the consequences of childhood language deprivation on the processing of ASL in adulthood.

Deniz Ilkbasaran, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow
I received my B.A. in Psychology from Koc University in Istanbul, where I worked with Dr. Asli Ozyurek on the documentation of Turkish Sign Language. I received my M.A. in Educational Technology from Concordia University in Montreal. My MA thesis was the collaborative design and development of an ASL board game for hearing families with Deaf children. I received my PhD in Communication at UC San Diego, advised by Dr. Carol Padden. My dissertation was on the technologically mediated social and communicative practices of deaf youth in Turkey, with an emphasis on literacies and mobilities. I have been a post-doc in the lab since 2015, supporting Dr. Mayberry's NIH funded project investigating the consequences of late sign language acquisition in deaf people, particularly regarding their language abilities and neurolinguistic organization as adults. My other research interests include the cultural heritage of deaf people, the history of deaf education, and sign language planning and policy in Turkey.

William, Matchin, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow
Before joining the Mayberry and Halgren labs here at UCSD, I received my Ph.D in Cognitive Neuroscience from UC Irvine with Gregory Hickok, focusing on fMRI of audiovisual speech perception and sentence processing. After this I worked for two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland with Ellen Lau, studying basic syntactic processing in fMRI, EEG and MEG. My research focuses on the intersection of Linguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience, specifically on integrating syntactic theory with online sentence processing and neuroscience. My research at UCSD is on syntactic processing in ASL using MEG and fMRI, particularly in studying late learners of language.

Hope Morgan
Linguistics Graduate Student
My dissertation work focuses on describing the phonological structure of Kenyan Sign Language, taking the view that it is possible to understand formational systematicity in sign language (SL) lexicons by restricting the analysis to truly minimal contrasts—a surprisingly novel approach in this subfield. As models for SL descriptions—especially at the phonological level—have been lacking, it is hoped that this project will offer a model for future fieldworkers to be able to more efficiently write phonological grammars of SLs. The thesis also has implications for theories of sign structure, as well as suggesting new directions for exploration in SL phonetics.

Qi Cheng
Linguistics Graduate Student
I got my master's degree in linguistics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and then worked at the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies at the same institution as a research assistant, mainly focusing on the literacy development of deaf children. I am now a graduate student in Linguistics Department, UCSD. My research interests include cross-modality neurobiological basis of human languages, age of acquisition effects, and the language development of deaf children.

Anne Therese Fredericksen
Linguistics Graduate Student
I am a graduate student in UCSD the Linguistics Program. Before coming to UCSD, I received BA and MA degrees in Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. My main research interests are language acquisition and discourse structure in the visual modality, including production and comprehension of referring expressions in sign language and co-speech gesture.

Nina Semushina
Linguistics Graduate Student
I graduated from Moscow State University majoring in French language. But by the end of my undergraduate studies, I become interested in sign languages and started to learn РЖЯ (Russian Sign Language). Therefore I studied Deaf education at Moscow State Pedagogical University and psycholinguistics at Russian Academy of Sciences, and then applied to UCSD. I am interested in sign language acquisition, bimodal bilingualism and acquisition of phonological processes. Now I am first year graduate student in Prof. Mayberry Lab and I currently work on numeral incorporation in RSL and ASL.

Austin Roth
Research Statistician
Before joining the lab I received my BSE in Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University where my research focused on epileptic seizure prediction using EEG and theoretical models of anesthesia using micro electrode arrays. My research in the Mayberry lab focuses on syntactic processing of ASL using MEG and fMRI, with an emphasis on studying late learners of language.

...and Lab Alumni

Ph.D. Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows

Tristan Davenport, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow

Mara Greeen, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Barnard University

Amy Lieberman, Ph.D., Research Scientist
Assistant Professor, School of Education, Boston University

Naja Ferjan Ramirez, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington

Matt Hall, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Linguistics, University of Connecticut

Kathryn Davidson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics, Harvard University

Alex Del Guidice
Senior Computational Linguist, Amplify Learning, Brooklyn, New York

Nathalie Bélanger, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, Rayner Eyetracking Lab, University of California, San Diego

Daphne Ducharme, Ph.D., Post Doctoral Fellow
Associate Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Ottawa

Paula Marentette, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Alberta

Charlene Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Alberta

Christie Yoshinaga-Itano, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Science, University of Colorado, Boulder

Masters, Honors Theses, Lab Managers

Pamela Witcher, Lab Manager
Drucilla Ronchen, Research Assistant
Patricia Viens, Research Assistant
Meghan Zvaigzne, M.Sc. (Ph.D. Department of Psychology, McGill University)
Sydelle Garfinkle, M.Sc.
Andrea Gates, M.Sc.
Lisa Hargraves, M.Sc.
Bonita Squires, Research Assistant (Ph.D. School of Human Communication Disorders, Dalhousie University)
Pauline Huang, Honours Thesis
Hena Kazmi, Research Assistant
Danielle Ross, M.Sc. (Ph.D. University of Rochester) Center for Disease Control
Gayle DeDe, Research Assistant (Ph.D. Boston University) Department of Speech
Language & Hearing Science, University of Arizona
Ran Sun, Research Assistant
Lori Scott, M.Sc.
Patrick Boudreault, M.Sc. (Ph.D. University of Winnipeg) Gallaudet University
Elizabeth Lock, M.Sc. (M.D. Dalhousie University)
Joselynne Scoble, M.Sc.
Inger Trembath, M.Sc.