Courtney E. Venker is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist and an Assistant Professor in Michigan State University's Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. She is also the director of the Lingo Lab, which is located in the Oyer Speech and Hearing Building on the Michigan State University campus.
Dr. Venker's research program focuses on language development in children with autism spectrum disorder, with an emphasis on how these children integrate auditory and visual information to learn the meanings of words. Her research uses a variety of methods, including standardized language and cognitive assessments, behavioral coding of parent-child play, and experimental eye-gaze tasks. Dr. Venker is also interested in how adults simplify their speech when talking to young children with language delays-for example, by shortening the length of their utterances. The goal of this work is to determine what types of simplified speech best support language development.
Dr. Venker is the recipient of an Early Career Research Award from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes of Health. This 3-year project examines the influence of visual perceptual salience on word processing and word learning in toddlers and preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder.