- 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
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.
SAR SH524: Language Acquisition
This course will focus on first language acquisition in infancy and childhood. We will cover the progression of language development in each of the traditional areas of linguistic analysis: phonology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. The course will be focused on experimental research in typical language acquisition and on different theories that strive to explain the underlying cognitive and linguistic mechanisms at work in an early learner. (Credits: 4)
SAR SH756: Cognition and Neural Bases
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the brain and its neuroanatomy; students will also learn about common models of language processing and the latest advances in neuroimaging studies on language processing in the brain. When students have completed this course, they should be able to (a) be able to identify various structures in the brain and their significance, (b) relate specific communicative disorders to their etiology in the brain, (c) relate models of language processing with specific regions in the brain, and (d) critically evaluate existing neuroimaging studies based on models of language processing and neuroanatomy. (Credits: 3)
- 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 Mapping, 41(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 Neuroscience, 34, 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.
- Zuk, J.; Ozernov-Palchik, O.; Kim, H.; Lakshminarayanan, K.; Gabrieli, J.D.E.; Tallal, P.; & Gaab, N. (2013). Enhanced syllable discrimination thresholds in musicians. PLoS ONE, 8(12), e80546.
- Raschle, N.; Zuk, J.; Ortiz-Mantilla, S.; Sliva, D.; Franceschi, A.; Grant, E.; Benasich, A.; & Gaab, N. (2012). Pediatric neuroimaging in early childhood and infancy: challenges and practical guidelines. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1252, 43-50.
- Raschle, N. M.; Zuk, J.; & Gaab, N. (2012). Functional characteristics of developmental dyslexia in left-hemispheric posterior brain regions predate reading onset. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(6), 2156–2161.
Awards and Honors
- Early Career Contributions in Research Award, American American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2021