Lab Staff

 
Dr. Benasich is the Elizabeth H. Solomon Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. She is also the Director of the Infancy Studies Lab and Director of the Carter Center for Neurocognitive Research. She received her PhD in Experimental/Cognitive Neuroscience and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from New York University. She has been studying development of temporally-bounded sensory information processing (a major predictor of language impairment and dyslexia), the neural substrates that support these developing abilities and the relations seen with emerging language/cognitive abilities from infancy through early childhood. Examination of auditory evoked potentials (EEG/ERPs), complex auditory brainstem response (cABR) and naturally sleeping MRI/fMRI provide converging noninvasive physiological measures to her lab’s extensive behavioral battery.  Data are also being gathered on an infant behavioral intervention developed to gently guide the developing brain to set up more efficient pathways for mounting language. Her findings are groundbreaking, as she has demonstrated for the first time that the ability to perform fine non-speech acoustic discriminations in early infancy is critically important to and highly predictive of later language development. These data further suggest that measures of rapid auditory processing ability may be used to identify and importantly, remediate infants at highest risk of language delay/impairment regardless of risk status.

Dr. Benasich is the Elizabeth H. Solomon Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. She is also the Director of the Infancy Studies Lab and Director of the Carter Center for Neurocognitive Research. She received her PhD in Experimental/Cognitive Neuroscience and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from New York University.

She has been studying development of temporally-bounded sensory information processing (a major predictor of language impairment and dyslexia), the neural substrates that support these developing abilities and the relations seen with emerging language/cognitive abilities from infancy through early childhood. Examination of auditory evoked potentials (EEG/ERPs), complex auditory brainstem response (cABR) and naturally sleeping MRI/fMRI provide converging noninvasive physiological measures to her lab’s extensive behavioral battery. 

Data are also being gathered on an infant behavioral intervention developed to gently guide the developing brain to set up more efficient pathways for mounting language. Her findings are groundbreaking, as she has demonstrated for the first time that the ability to perform fine non-speech acoustic discriminations in early infancy is critically important to and highly predictive of later language development. These data further suggest that measures of rapid auditory processing ability may be used to identify and importantly, remediate infants at highest risk of language delay/impairment regardless of risk status.

April A. Benasich, Ph.D.

Director

 
Silvia is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience. She received her MD degree in her native country, Colombia, from the Javeriana University, Bogotá. She completed a dual residence program in Pediatrics and Pediatric Neurology. She established and directed pediatric neurology services at two hospitals in Colombia. Dr. Ortiz-Mantilla joined the Infancy Studies Lab as a post-doctoral fellow when she moved to the United States and is now an Associate Professor. Research interests include combining methodologies such as structural MRI, dense-array EEG/ERP, cABR and behavioral measures to further understand speech/language development and perceptual processing in infants.  She specializes in advanced analytical techniques, including source localization, spectro-temporal analyses, inter-trial phase locking and cross frequency coupling to assess neural oscillatory patterns in typically developing and high risk infants as well as children on the autism spectrum.

Silvia is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience. She received her MD degree in her native country, Colombia, from the Javeriana University, Bogotá. She completed a dual residence program in Pediatrics and Pediatric Neurology. She established and directed pediatric neurology services at two hospitals in Colombia. Dr. Ortiz-Mantilla joined the Infancy Studies Lab as a post-doctoral fellow when she moved to the United States and is now an Associate Professor.

Research interests include combining methodologies such as structural MRI, dense-array EEG/ERP, cABR and behavioral measures to further understand speech/language development and perceptual processing in infants.  She specializes in advanced analytical techniques, including source localization, spectro-temporal analyses, inter-trial phase locking and cross frequency coupling to assess neural oscillatory patterns in typically developing and high risk infants as well as children on the autism spectrum.

Silvia Ortiz-Mantilla, M.D.

Assistant Research Professor

 

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Sue Peters, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

 

Katie is a graduate student in the Behavioral and Neural Sciences program at Rutgers University. She has a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior from the University of Notre Dame, where she was a research assistant in the Notre Dame Infant Studies Lab. In her senior honors thesis, she explored the relationships between visual and auditory sequence learning and language development. She’s currently interested in using EEG, fMRI, and behavioral measures to understand how babies’ brains change as they learn language.  

Katie is a graduate student in the Behavioral and Neural Sciences program at Rutgers University. She has a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior from the University of Notre Dame, where she was a research assistant in the Notre Dame Infant Studies Lab. In her senior honors thesis, she explored the relationships between visual and auditory sequence learning and language development. She’s currently interested in using EEG, fMRI, and behavioral measures to understand how babies’ brains change as they learn language.  

Katie Wolfert, B.S.

Graduate Student, CMBN

Cindy is Research Coordinator for the Infancy Studies Lab. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola University Maryland. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, NJ state licensure to practice speech-language pathology and NJ school certification as a speech-language specialist. Research interests include understanding brain mechanisms involved in auditory information processing in the first two years of life and their relationship to speech/language development.

Cindy is Research Coordinator for the Infancy Studies Lab. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola University Maryland. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, NJ state licensure to practice speech-language pathology and NJ school certification as a speech-language specialist.

Research interests include understanding brain mechanisms involved in auditory information processing in the first two years of life and their relationship to speech/language development.

Cindy Roesler, M.S., CCC-SLP

Research Speech Pathologist

 

Rebecca is a NJ certified school psychologist and research psychologist at the Infancy Studies Lab. She earned a B.A. in psychology with highest honors from Oberlin College in 1994, and received her Psy.M. degree in school psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University in 1998. She specialized in infant and early childhood development through the Infant Specialized Interdisciplinary Studies (ISIS) program.  She has worked as a school psychologist, a college learning consultant, and a researcher in two developmental labs.

Rebecca is a NJ certified school psychologist and research psychologist at the Infancy Studies Lab. She earned a B.A. in psychology with highest honors from Oberlin College in 1994, and received her Psy.M. degree in school psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University in 1998. She specialized in infant and early childhood development through the Infant Specialized Interdisciplinary Studies (ISIS) program.  She has worked as a school psychologist, a college learning consultant, and a researcher in two developmental labs.

Rebecca Reale, Psy.M.

Senior Research Psychologist

 

Amanda is the Lab Manager at the Infancy Studies Lab. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Biology from Northeastern University in 2017.  She has previously worked with infants at a pediatric outpatient clinic. Her past research ranges from examining the impact of cognitive construals upon biology education and views on depression to critiquing the World Health Organization's yellow fever reports. She is excited to be part of the lab and is interested in learning more about infant language development among clinical populations via behavioral tasks, EEG, fMRI, and cABR. 

Amanda Luken, B.S.

Lab Manager

Teresa is Project Coordinator at the Infancy Studies Lab. She earned her BA in Biology and BA in Psychology at Rutgers, and her MPH with a specialty in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Research interests include processing and analysis of electrophysiological measures and eye tracking data to study infant information processing and its relationship to early cognitive/language development. She is responsible for maintenance/updates of experimental equipment, as well as preparing data for sharing with collaborators.

Teresa is Project Coordinator at the Infancy Studies Lab. She earned her BA in Biology and BA in Psychology at Rutgers, and her MPH with a specialty in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Research interests include processing and analysis of electrophysiological measures and eye tracking data to study infant information processing and its relationship to early cognitive/language development. She is responsible for maintenance/updates of experimental equipment, as well as preparing data for sharing with collaborators.

Teresa Realpe-Bonilla, M.P.H.

Project Coordinator

 

Julie is a Registered Nurse. She hails from Minneapolis, MN where she received her nursing education from the University of Minnesota and Bethel College. Her research interests include child as a recipient of inputs from objects and events occurring in connection with parental responsivity in the home environment. She is also currently performing Autism Diagnostic Observations assessments (ADOS) for the NJLAGS study, looking at how genes influence the development of Autism.

Julie is a Registered Nurse. She hails from Minneapolis, MN where she received her nursing education from the University of Minnesota and Bethel College. Her research interests include child as a recipient of inputs from objects and events occurring in connection with parental responsivity in the home environment. She is also currently performing Autism Diagnostic Observations assessments (ADOS) for the NJLAGS study, looking at how genes influence the development of Autism.

Julie Morgan-Byrne, R.N.

Research Assistant and Parent Liaison

 

Malini Subramaniam, B.S.

M.S. Candidate for Biomedical Sciences

Research Aide

 

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