We are the Brain, Environment, and Language Lab (BELL) at San Diego State University. We study how language abilities, together with environmental influences (social determinants of health) shape life outcomes. Our research draws from communication sciences and disorders, education, linguistics, psychology, and public health. We use community-based participatory research, behavioral methods, and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to examine language, environment, and life outcomes in children, adolescents, and young adults.

Some of the questions we ask are:

  • How does the environment (social determinants of health) impact life outcomes as individuals become young adults?
  • How can we better understand linguistic variability in people with different language profiles?
  • What linguistic and cognitive processes support language skills?
  • What are ways to be culturally responsive in assessment of person-centered measures (akin to patient-reported outcomes), such as self-determination?


Our work is supported by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, with hopefully more to report soon!

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