Kate uses brain imaging and brain stimulation to investigate disorders of speech production. Primarily, she studies children and adults with developmental disorders such as stammering (stuttering) and verbal dyspraxia and people with aphasia due to brain damage acquired through stroke.  She is also interested in language learning in the general population (e.g. in bilingualism) and language learning impairments, which affect up to 10% of children.  Kate is also interested in how brain areas involved in the control of movement and speech production contribute to speech perception.  For these studies, she uses non-invasive brain stimulation (either TMS or TDCS) to manipulate activity in brain areas and examine the effects on behaviour.  Finally, a third line of research examines how the brain is changed when deprived of the sense of vision. For this, she uses brain scans to look at how the brain responds to auditory and language stimuli in people who are blind since birth.  

Kate E. Watkins

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