Dr. Heather Ramsdell

About the Origin of Language Laboratory

General introduction

The Origins of Language Laboratory directed by D. Kimbrough Oller (Kim) is home for research on the origins of human language and the development of infrastructural theory to facilitate design and interpretation of research. The work is diverse, including both human and non-human communication studies, but the primary empirical work involves human infants beginning at the earliest possible ages. The laboratory currently houses two research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health to investigate early vocal and speech-acoustic development as well as early vocal interaction between parents and infants. Infants and their families are followed longitudinally to characterize normal language development and to determine predictors of developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders with special focus on the first year of life. The projects include coding and analyzing a large body of all-day home recordings (using the LENA Research Foundation recorder, and including work with their database of over 100,000 hours of home recordings) of typically developing infants and infants at risk, including infants with older autistic siblings (in collaboration with the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, Gordon Ramsay), and prematurely-born infants still in intensive care (in collaboration with Women and Infants Hospital at Brown University, Betty Vohr), as well as hour-long lab recordings conducted at our eight-camera Infant Recording Studio, along with longitudinal diary observations by parents using our online www.babyvoc.org.

Principal Investigator

D. Kimbrough Oller, Ph.D., (ResearchGate profile for Oller) Professor & Plough Chair of Excellence 


Eugene H. Buder, Ph.D., (ResearchGate profile for Buder) Associate Professor 


  • Edina R. Bene, PhD, Research Project Manager

PhD Students

  • Zahra Poursoroush
  • Emily Adams

Graduate Assistants


  • Hayley Royal, CSD-SLP
  • Isabelle Yap, CSD-AUD


  • Institute for Intelligent Systems, UofM, Memphis, TN 
  • Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Klosterneuburg, Austria
  • LENA Research Foundation, Boulder, CO
  • Anne Warlaumont, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • Betty Vohr, Brown University, RI
  • Chia-Cheng Lee, Independent
  • Dale Bowman, University of Memphis, TN
  • Daniel Messinger, University of Miami, FL
  • Gordon Ramsay, Emory University, Marcus Autism Center, Atlanta, GA
  • Heather Ramsdell, Idaho State University, ID
  • Irene Pepperberg, Harvard University, MA
  • Josep Call, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland
  • Ulrike Griebel, University of Memphis, TN; Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Klosterneuburg, Austria
  • Lama Farran, University of West Georgia, GA
  • Li-mei Chen, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
  • Ofer Tchernichovski, Hunter College, The City University of New York, NY
  • Paul Yoder, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Paul Milenkovic, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
  • Rafael Delgado, Intelligent Hearing Systems Corporation, Miami, FL
  • Rick Dale, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • Seunghee Ha, Hallym University, South Korea
  • Steve Warren, University of Kansas, KA
  • Suneeti Nathani Iyer, University of Georgia, GA
  • Yuna Jhang, Chung Shan Medical University, Taiwan
  • Chia-Cheng Lee, Portland State University, OR
  • Hyunjoo Yoo, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Helen Long, University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center
  • Pumpki Lei Su, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX
  • Megan Burkhardt-Reed, University of Califonia, Los Angeles, CA

Lab Alumni

  • Heather Ramsdell, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Anne Warlaumont, PhD
  • Beau Franklin, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Lauren Burrows, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Yuna Jhang, PhD
  • Chia-Cheng Lee, PhD
  • Hyunjoo Yoo, PhD
  • Helen Long, PhD, CCC-SLP
  • Megan Burkhardt-Reed, PhD