Speech Neuroscience Laboratory
College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College

Spotlight: Matthias Heyne
Principal Investigator: Frank Guenther



Matthias Heyne, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Boston University. His interdisciplinary research explores the relationship of referential and non-referential forms of communication, such as language and (instrumental) music, and more specifically, the cognitive and biomechanical processes underlying human behavior and how they manifest themselves in the movements of the facial-oral-laryngeal-respiratory musculature. After using ultrasound imaging to investigate the influence of native language on trombone performance during this doctorate, Matthias is collaborating with Dr. Peter Iltis (Gordon College) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, to collect real-time MRI recordings of the vocal tract during speech and brass instrument performance. Within the discipline of speech research, Matthias has investigated the articulation and socio-phonetics of New Zealand English, and is currently developing a new analysis pipeline to process diffusion-weighted MRI images of the brain that can provide information about possible white matter abnormalities underlying impaired speech production in disorders such as stuttering and autism.

RCS Contribution

Processing DWI and real-time MRI data requires a large amount of storage and computational power along with a variety of specialized software tools to probe the questions investigators are interested in. RCS staff member Dustin Clark worked with Matthias Heyne to configure the burgeoning collection of neuroimaging tools for the SCC’s parallel computing environment and to remotely visualize those processed images of the brain. Accessing various software with RCS support allows Matthias to connect the Speech Neuroscience Lab data to state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques in a high performance computing environment for faster processing with face-to-face consulting.

NIH P50 DC013027

More Information

See more of the Speech Neuroscience Laboratory’s work on the SNL website.