Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Physical Therapy
Jana Iverson’s research focuses on relations between early motor development and later-emerging ‘higher-order’ skills (i.e., communication and language). Specifically, she is interested in understanding:
- The way in which development in motor skills provides infants with an increasingly diverse set of opportunities for acquiring and refining abilities that contribute to development in domains such as communication and language and in which delays or deficits in motor skills can exert cascading developmental effects extending well beyond the motor domain
- The developmental relationship between gesture and speech in children acquiring language typically
- The extent to which early gesture-speech links are sensitive to variation in input
- The nature of early motor and communicative development in children with an older sibling with autism
Her research uses a variety of techniques, including studying behavior (i.e., grasping, reaching, sitting, crawling, walking, eye gaze, vocalizations, gestures) and movement kinematics (i.e., wrist acceleration, postural sway, standard gait parameters) to understand how movement and communication develop in infants and young children.