My research activities have been multidisciplinary ranging from neural underpinnings of speech and language disorders to age-related changes in the speech production system of healthy-aged older adults. The overarching theme is to gain better understanding how speech and language processing changes across the lifespan and what processes are affected in some of the most common language disorders (such as dyslexia and developmental language disorder, DLD), or as a consequence of mild hearing loss from birth or acquired later in life (e.g., Tuomainen, 2015). Most of my earlier research focused on speech perception and it was conducted in the laboratory setting using highly controlled acoustic materials that tap on very specific aspects of auditory function. These results have improved our understanding, for example, on why some children with mild-to-moderate hearing loss have impaired language, while others do not (e.g., Halliday, Tuomainen, & Rosen, 2017). However, these methods have some drawbacks in how well they represent speech and language processing in everyday life, and recently I have extended my research focus towards developing reliable methods to investigate naturalistic speech communication, that integrates both perception and production, in controlled laboratory settings (e.g., Hazan, Tuomainen & Pettinato, 2016; Pettinato, Tuomainen, Granlund & Hazan, 2016).
For more information on various projects I’ve been involved in, please visit my Research page.
A short biography:
I completed my PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in 2009 at University College London, UK. My thesis investigated auditory processing skills and their relationship with speech processing and language ability in young adults with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and Dyslexia.
Since my PhD, I have been working as a teaching fellow and a postdoctoral Research Fellow in various institutions in the UK.
Currently I am a co-PI and a Research Fellow on a new 3-year ESRC funded project titled ‘Speech masking effects in speech communication across the lifespan‘. The project aims to lead to a better understanding of how speech communication is affected by different types of noises in the environment -and how this changes as a function of age.