Research Facilities

The ASL Eye-Tracking Laboratory

The ASL 6000 eye-tracker is a head-mounted bright pupil system, with two mounted receivers. This style of eye-tracker allows the participant to move around and shift their focus between more than one screen or to examine multiple targets at different angles. It also allows for manual manipulation of objects rather than the standard mouse-click on the AOI.

The Tobii Eye-Tracking Laboratory

The Tobii eye-tracker is a stationary device with the eye-tracking component attached directly to the same unit as the screen. It is also a bright-pupil system. The lab also has sound booths for training and/or other types of experiments.

The Language Pod at COSI Labs-in-Life

COSI (Center for Science and Industry)

The pod features a wireless ASL Mobile XG eye tracker and an additional Tobii eyetracker. We use them to study langage processing in museum visitors of all ages.


Office for Kiwako Ito: 116N Stadium East

Shari Speer's Office: 108B Stadium East

Ongoing Research Projects

Examining changes in social and communication skills in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder participating in Early Intensive Behavior Intervention

Elizabeth Kryszak (P.I), Kiwako Ito (co-I)            


The project will develop a standardized measure of social cognition and speech comprehension using an eye-tracking technique that could demonstrate change more quickly in children with ASD participating in Early Intensive Behavior Intervention. The quality of speech input that children with ASD receive from therapists and parents will be compared using LENA voice recording and analysis technology. The project evaluates the effects of quality of speech input on social and linguistic skills (observed via. eye-tracking).

Prosodic Universals in Head-Initial vs. Head-Final Languages

Laurie Maynell, Kiwako Ito, Shari R. Speer

In this study we examine how intonation phrase boundaries are used to resolve a relative clause attachment ambiguity in a head-final and a head-initial language (Japanese and English, respectively). Participants' eye movements are recorded as they listen to sentences and look at (and select) picture representations of possible interpretations of each utterance. More generally, we hope to understand whether prosody is affected by surface structure in the processing of structurally different languages.

Prosody in Natural Discourse: English and Japanese

Shari R. Speer, Kiwako Ito, Hartman Brawley, Adam Royer, and Rory Turnbull

Spontaneous speech in English and Japanese was collected during an interactive tree decoration task. These natural utterances are then analyzed for the discourse status and phonological and phonetic characteristics.

Developmental Change in the use of L+H* in Referential Resolution in English

Kiwako Ito, Sarah Bibyk, Laura Wagner, Shari R. Speer

This study compares the processing of L+H* on a pre-nominal adjective during a monitor-based visual search task across various developmental stages (6 to 11-year olds, and adults).

Eliciting the Perception of a Stigmatized Vowel Merger: An Eye-Tracking Study

Kiwako ItoKathryn Campbell-Kibler

This study investigates whether the perception of the /I/-/E/ merger can be elicited by visual cues that are associated with the social stigma.

Recreating Sound Change in a Laboratory Setting

Bridget Smith

Using perceptual adaptation and shadowing in a vocabulary learning task, we can recreate sound change conditions. Language users are exposed to innovative variants in this way, then are tested using lexical decision and eye-tracking, to see how they incorporate the new variants into their existing phonemic categories, to what extent they generalize the new variants to new words, talkers, and linguistic environments, and whether they can develop linguistic and extra-linguistic associations with the new variants.

Selected Publication

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