Assistant professor awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) grant

ViswanathanAssistant Professor (Psychology) Navin Viswanathan has received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project “Making words disappear or appear: A neurocognitive and behavioral investigation of effects of speech rate on spoken word recognition.”

In collaboration with Dr. Laura Dilley of Michigan State University and Dr. Lisa Sanders of the UMass Amherst, the project focuses on the remarkable ability of human listeners to understand speech under widely-varying conditions.

“Specifically, we examine their ability to understand speech produced at different rates,” explained Viswanathan. “This investigation is especially pertinent given that speech recognition software packages [such as Apple iPhone’s Siri] have considerable trouble under conditions in which humans have little difficulty.”

According to Viswanathan, this cross disciplinary project will provide SUNY New Paltz students with opportunities to build research experience as well as learn from primary investigators and graduate students at the collaborating institutions. Additionally, the funding will be use to support student travel to present at leading professional conferences in the field.

“I am very excited about this award and hope that it will serve to increase the academic visibility of the College in the fields of Cognitive Psychology and Linguistics,” said Viswanathan. “I look forward to beginning work on this project with students in the fall semester.”

The abstract and other information regarding this award can be found at .