2018 Early Career Awards
The Society for the Neurobiology of Language is pleased to announce the 2018 Early Career Award winners: Bharath Chandrasekaran and Pascale Tremblay.
The Early Career Awards are generously sponsored by Brain and Language.
The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
Bharath Chandrasekaran received his Ph.D. in Integrative Neuroscience from Purdue University in 2008, and after a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University, he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at The University of Texas at Austin, receiving tenure in 2015.
Dr. Chandrasekaran has developed two theoretical models of speech learning that are paradigm shifting. The Predictive Tuning Model argues against a corticocentric view of speech learning and proposes that top-down corticofugal connections are instrumental in selectively enhancing speech signals in challenging listening environments and during auditory learning. His dual learning systems (DLS) model proposes two dissociable cortico-striatal neural streams that are active during learning: a sound-to-rule mapping ‘reflective’ system, wherein processing is under conscious, deliberative control, and a sound-to-reward mapping ‘reflexive’ system that is not under conscious control. His most recent research examines the impact of non-invasive peripheral nerve stimulation on language learning in adults. Dr. Chandrasekaran has published 60 peer-reviewed papers (17 in the last two years), and his work was recently highlighted in Scientific American. His publications and collaborative research projects cover the entire gamut of neuroimaging approaches: EEG, fMRI, electrocorticography, neuromodulation via peripheral nerve stimulation, and near-infrared spectroscopy. In addition to his rich research contribution, Dr. Chandrasekaran serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (Speech section), and he is a standing member of the NIH Language and Communication (LCOM) panel. During his early career, Dr. Chandrasekaran has demonstrated continued excellence in research and is an exceptional academic citizen.
Université Laval, Québec, Canada
Pascale Tremblay received her Ph.D. in 2009 from McGill University. The same year, she co-founded (with Dr. Steven Small) the Society for the Neurobiology of Language. She then organized the first two meetings in Chicago (2009) and San Diego (2010). She has remained involved with the Society as elected Treasure from 2013 to 2016, and this year as the local organizer for the 10th anniversary meeting.
After completing two postdoctoral periods at the University of Chicago and at the Università degli Studi di Trento in Italy, she was appointed in 2011 as Assistant Professor in speech-language pathology at Université Laval and promoted to Associate Professor in 2016. Dr. Tremblay has made significant contributions in the areas of speech motor control, speech perception and the “language connectome,” using multimodal brain imaging and non-invasive brain stimulation, and she has also contributed significantly to clarifying the impact of aging on these neurobiological processes and the neural structures with which they are associated. Dr. Tremblay’s productivity has been impressive, with 50 publications including 41 peer-reviewed articles (19 of which published in the past three years). She has also been successful in obtaining research funds from foundations and several funding agencies in Canada and the United States.
Dr. Tremblay’s research interests stem from a view of speech and language as a highly evolved communicative behavior that relies on neurobiological mechanisms shared with a wide range of human behaviors. At the same time, she has a strong research interest in uncovering and identifying the manner in which generalized neural functions engage specialized mechanisms associated with the flexible and complex variations that give each behavior its own identity.