We are the Brain, Environment, and Language Lab (BELL) at San Diego State University. We study how language skills and social drivers of health shape developmental outcomes. Our research draws from communication sciences and disorders, education, linguistics, neuroscience, 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 drivers of health) impact the transition to adulthood?
  • How can we better understand linguistic variability in people who differ in how they use language?
  • What can underlying linguistic and cognitive processes tell us about linguistic strengths?

Ultimately, our objective is to understand the transition to adulthood over time and to translate this knowledge into community-based supports that leverage individual and community strengths.


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

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Thank you to Dalton Scott for creating our logo!