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MSU receives $350K NIH grant

  • Carlson web 7-13
    Dr. Katy Carlson
Morehead State University has been awarded a 3-year, $350,425 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a project titled “Accents and Syntactic Attachment: Exploring how pitch accents affect the resolution of syntactic ambiguities with or without prosodic boundaries.”

Dr. Katy Carlson, associate professor of English, will be the project director.

The project will contribute to a fuller understanding of how prosody, or the tune and rhythm of language, affects sentence processing. It explores how pitch accents, an aspect of linguistic prosody, can modify the structure and meaning of a sentence. The better we understand the use of linguistic prosody in language comprehension for unimpaired adults, the better we will be able to analyze what uses are disordered vs. spared in patients with aphasia, patients with other types of brain damage, and children with hearing difficulties, and the better we can plan to treat these problems.

The grant application was helped by the existing Kentucky Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (KBRIN) project funded through an NIH INBRE (IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence) grant awarded to the University of Louisville (MSU is one of the project's subrecipients). The goal of the KBRIN project is to increase and build capacity for biomedical-related research in the state, and to that end it assists researchers in Kentucky with grant preparation through funding for pilot projects and personnel as well as mentoring. MSU’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs was also instrumental in the success of the application.

The grant will pay for a postdoctoral researcher to assist Dr. Carlson with her research, as well as providing funding for several undergraduate students to work on the project during the academic year and the summer.

The project is funded through June 2016.

“I am very honored to have received this grant and look forward to helping students participate in language research,” Dr. Carlson said.

Additional information is available by calling Dr. Carlson at 606-783-2782.

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