• Education:BA, Cognitive Science, Case Western Reserve University
    BS, Music Education, Case Western Reserve University
    EdM, Mind, Brain, and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
    PhD, Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology, Harvard University
    CCC-SLP, MGH Institute of Health Professions and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Website or Lab: Communication and Neurodevelopment Lab
  • Phone:617-353-0368

Scholarly, Research, and/or Practice Interests

Jennifer Zuk studies factors in early childhood that shape the trajectory of speech, language, and reading acquisition, with the aim to facilitate positive outcomes for children susceptible to neurodevelopmental disabilities. Her research employs behavioral and neuroimaging tools with children from infancy through school age to study associations between the brain and speech, language, and reading abilities, as well as environmental experience (such as music). As a speech-language pathologist, Dr. Zuk is committed to translating research to practice in an effort to promote effective identification, access, and inclusion for those who experience communication difficulties. Her interdisciplinary approach bridges experience in clinical speech-language pathology, developmental cognitive neuroscience, music cognition, and education.

Courses Taught


Selected Publications

  • Davison, K.*, Zuk, J.*, Mullin, L., Ozernov-Palchik, O., Norton, E., Gabrieli, J.D.E., Yu, X., Gaab, N. (2023). Examining the relationship between shared book reading at home, white matter organization in kindergarten, and subsequent language and reading abilities: a longitudinal investigation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 35(2), 259-275.
  • Andrade, P., Mullensiefen, D., Andrade, O., Dunstan, J., Zuk, J., Gaab, N. (2023). Sequence Processing in Music predicts Reading Skills in Young Brazilian Readers: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 1-18.
  • Zuk, J., Vanderauwera, J., Turesky, T., Yu, X., Gaab, N. (2022). Neurobiological predispositions for musicality: White matter in infancy predicts school-age music aptitude. Developmental Science, e13365.
  • Yu, X., Ferradal, S., Dunstan, J., Carruthers, C., Sanfilippo, J., Zuk, J., Zöllei, L., Gagoski, B., Ou, Y., Grant, P.E., Gaab, N. (2022). Patterns of Neural Functional Connectivity in Infants at Familial Risk of Developmental Dyslexia. JAMA Network Open: 5(10), e2236102.
  • Spencer, C., Davison, K., Boucher, A., Zuk, J. (2022). Speech Perception Variability in Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Implications for Diagnosis and Treatment. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools,  1-16.
  • Turesky, T.K., Sanfilippo, J., Zuk, J., Ahtam, B., Gagoski, B., Lee, A., Garrisi, K., Dunstan, J., Carruthers, C., Vanderauwera, J., Yu, X., Gaab, N. (2022). Home language and literacy environment and its relationship to socioeconomic status and white matter structure in infancy. Brain Structure and Function, 1-13.
  • Zuk, J., Yu, X., Sanfilippo, J., Figuccio, M., Dunstan, J., Carruthers, C., Turesky, T., Grant, E., Gaab, N. (2021). White matter in infancy is prospectively associated with language outcomes in kindergarten. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 50, 100973.
  • Zuk, J., Dunstan, J., Norton, E., Yu, X., Ozernov-Palchik, O., Wang, Y., Hogan, T., Gabrieli, J.D.E. & Gaab, N. (2021). Multifactorial pathways facilitate resilience among kindergarteners at risk for dyslexia: A longitudinal behavioral and neuroimaging study. Developmental Science, 24(1), e12983.
  • Yu, X., Zuk, J., Mauer, M., Ozernov-Palchik, O., Raney, T., Beach, S., Norton, E.S., Gabrieli, J.D.E., & Gaab, N. (2020). Putative protective neural mechanisms in prereaders with a family history of dyslexia who subsequently develop typical reading skills. Human Brain Mapping41(10), 2827-2845.
  • Zuk, J., Perdue, M. V., Becker, B., Yu, X., Chang, M., Raschle, N. M., & Gaab, N. (2018). Neural correlates of phonological processing: Disrupted in children with dyslexia and enhanced in musically trained children. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience34, 82-91.
  • Zuk, J., & Gaab, N. (2018). Evaluating predisposition and training in shaping the musician’s brain: the need for a developmental perspective. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1423(1), 40-50.
  • Yu, X., Zuk, J., & Gaab, N. (2018). What factors facilitate resilience in developmental dyslexia? Examining protective and compensatory mechanisms across the developmental trajectory. Child Development Perspectives, 12(4), 240-246.
  • Yu, X., Raney, T., Perdue, M.V., Zuk, J., Ozernov-Palchik, O., Becker, B.C., Raschle, N.M. & Gaab, N. (2018). Emergence of the neural network underlying phonological processing from the pre-reading to the emergent reading stage: a longitudinal study. Human Brain Mapping, 39(5), 2047-2063.
  • Zuk, J., Iuzzini, J., Cabbage, K., Green, J., Carrell, T., Hogan, T.P. (2018). Poor speech perception is not a core deficit of childhood apraxia of speech: preliminary findings. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 61(3), 583-592.
  • Cabbage, K., Farquharson, K., Iuzzini-Siegel, J., Zuk, J., & Hogan, T. (2018). Revisiting the relation between speech sound disorders and dyslexia. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 774-786.
  • Zuk, J., Bishop-Lieber, P., Ozernov-Palchik, O., Peysakovich, B., Moore, E., Overy, K., Welch, G., Gaab, N. (2017). Revisiting the ‘enigma’ of musicians with dyslexia: auditory sequencing and speech abilities. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(4), 495-511.
  • Langer, N., Peysakhovich, B., Zuk, J., Drottar, M., Sliva, D., Smith, S., Becker, B., Grant, E., & Gaab, N. (2017). Reduced white matter integrity in infants at risk for developmental dyslexia. Cerebral Cortex, 27(2), 1027-1036.
  • Clayton, K.K., Swaminathan, J., Yazdanbaksh, A., Zuk, J., Patel, A.D. & Kidd Jr, G. (2016). Executive function, visual attention and the cocktail party problem in musicians and non-musicians. PLoS ONE, 11(7), e0157638.
  • Zuk, J.; Benjamin, C.; Kenyon, A.; & Gaab, N. (2014). Behavioral and neural correlates of executive functioning in musicians and nonmusicians. PLoS ONE, 9(6), e99868.

Awards and Honors

  • Albert M. Galaburda Research Award from The Dyslexia Foundation, 2022
  • Individual Biomedical Research Award from the Hartwell Foundation, 2021
  • Early Career Contributions in Research Award from the American American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2021

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