WSU Communication Sciences and Disorders Research Programs and Laboratories

Many Communication Sciences and Disorders faculty members have their own laboratories or research programs. While research interests are diverse, each lab is geared towards the university’s vision of conducting innovative research, providing impactful student experiences, and driving prosperity for the people and communities we serve. 

Our department currently has nine active research laboratories and programs located in Ahlberg Hall or the Evelyn Hendren Cassat Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.

Auditory Simulation Lab  Auditory Research Lab  Auditory Cognition Lab   Autism Interdisciplinary Diagnostic Team (AIDT)
Computer-Mediated Communication Lab  Literacy in Kansas (LINKS) Lab  
Speech Development and Communication Lab  Wichita Adult Language Laboratory



Below are brief descriptions of our current research programs. To contact a faculty member or learn more about their particular research interests and accomplishments, click on their name. 

Auditory Simulation Lab

Graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in working on research projects in the areas of (1) use of simulation and virtual education in audiology, (2) central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), or (3) factors affecting recruitment and retention of CSD students who identify as male or BIPOC will have a chance to gain experience and interact with participants of all ages. Opportunities for students working in Dr. Richburg’s lab include administering standardized and non-standardized assessments and treatments of auditory processing, pre- and post-assessments of simulated training activities using a variety of scaffolding techniques, questionnaire development, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of results. Students interested in participating in presentation and/or publication of research findings on state and national levels are encouraged to get involved.

Auditory Research Lab

Dr. Sun’s lab is used to fulfil his teaching and research duties. The lab is fully equipped to conduct all types of otoacoustic emission and auditory evoked potential measurements and single-frequency and wideband acoustic immittance procedures (tympanometry and the acoustic reflex). 
Utilizing the instruments in this lab, students in the AuD program work on their class assignments, practice clinical technologies, and complete their capstone projects. PhD students conduct their research projects and dissertation studies.

Current research areas: (1) Evaluation of the auditory efferent function using otoacoustic emissions and auditory evoked potentials, e.g. contralateral-sound suppression; (2) Wideband acoustic immittance (wideband tympanometry and wideband acoustic reflex), e.g. normative studies, reliability studies, and effects of procedural variables and middle ear dysfunctions.

Auditory Cognition Lab

Children and adults with hearing loss experience difficulties in understanding speech and when performing other complex listening tasks. Success in challenging listening situations is impacted by the acoustics of the listening environment, the audibility of sound for the listener with or without hearing aids or cochlear implants, and the listener’s cognitive skills such as attention and memory. It is the focus of our lab to better understand the factors that support successful listening across the lifespan and help to develop targeted interventions for listeners with hearing disorders to improve their communication and quality of life.

Autism Interdisciplinary Diagnostic Team (AIDT)

The Wichita State University - Community Partners: Autism Interdisciplinary Diagnostic Team (WSU-CP: AIDT) was developed for two purposes: (1) to train undergraduate and graduate students via a hands-on interprofessional education (IPE) model, to better recognize the characteristics of ASD, as well as screen, assess, and refer children who demonstrate signs of ASD and their families; and (2) provide a highly needed to service to children and families throughout South Central Kansas. We provide this experience 4 times each semester (both fall and spring); thus, 8 per academic calendar year.

Computer-Mediated Communication Lab

Computer Mediated Communications (CMC) is a broad topic that includes almost any form of communication where a computer is present in the communication process. The CMC lab was designed to investigate the interactions of technology and communication in a clinical context. The lab is structured to allow detailed capture and analysis of therapy sessions, Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) interactions, texting, teleconferencing, and telepractice sessions.  The lab is equipped to collect multimodal data including audio, video, screen-mirroring, eye-gaze, EEG, and EMG inputs.

Literacy in Kansas (LINKS) Lab

Directed by Dr. Karissa Marble-Flint, research in the LINKS Lab focuses on written language evaluation and treatment approaches for school-age children. Current research projects include exploration of written language assessment via a videoconferencing platform and analyzing changes in children’s writing skills during a Summer Literacy Camp held at the LINKS Lab. The lab provides clinical research experiences to both graduate and undergraduate students.  Opportunities are available for students to present research findings at local, state, and national conventions. Dr. Marble-Flint is also the co-director and a co-principal investigator of the Center for Educational Technologies to Assist Refugee Learners (CETARL). Click here for additional information about the research being conducted via CETARL.

Speech Development and Communication Lab

The lab focuses on two broad categories of research in the communication sciences: speech development and communicative interaction. The lab's research projects revolve primarily around questions related to speech development in infants and toddlers, but the multi-purpose space is adaptable to both child- and adult-related communication research. A long-term study is currently under way to explore (a) the relationship between vocalization and respiratory behaviors in infants, and (b) the role that parent interaction plays in infant speech development.

The lab is fully equipped to record speech, respiration, and motion from multiple participants. Speech is recorded with wireless microphones. Respiratory behaviors are captured using a wide array of techniques, including respiratory inductance plethysmography, pneumotachometry, and spirometry. Video cameras allow for full-body or close-up views of participants during interaction-related studies.

Wichita Adult Language Lab

The lab focuses on the evaluation and treatment of aphasia and related acquired adult language and communication disorders. A top goal of the lab is to improve life participation for adults who have lost the ability to speak, understand, read, or write following a stroke or other brain injury. Current research projects examine the effects of individual and group treatments on speaking, comprehension, sentence construction, and quality of life. 

Graduate student clinicians participate in these research projects by administering standardized assessments, administering speech language treatments, scoring and analyzing data, interviewing people with aphasia, and reviewing relevant research literature. Each year, a few students summarize and present research findings at research forums such as the Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) Symposium, the Capitol Graduate Research Summit, and the Kansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention. 

Undergraduate students are also involved in research projects through preparation of assessment and therapy materials, scoring, data analysis, computer programming, and data presentation. Undergraduate students present about their research involvement at forums such as the Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol and the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF).

The Wichita Adult Language Laboratory has an ongoing collaboration with the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. The research collaboration focuses on the development and testing of an app for aphasia therapy.