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RESEARCH

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Kaja K. Jasińska

Cognitive Neuroscientist

WHO AM I?

WHAT DO I DO?

Current Position

Assistant Professor in the Linguistics and Cognitive Science Department at the University of Delaware.

Joint Appointments: Psychological and Brain Sciences, Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Research Scientist at Haskins Laboratories

Scientific Director of the BOLD (Brain Organization for Language+Literacy) Laboratory

 

Postdoctoral Research Associate position available.
Accepting summer research assistants. Interested graduate students can apply to the PhD program in Linguistics or Psychological and Brain Sciences.

 

Education and Training

  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Haskins Laboratories affiliated with Yale University working with Dr. Nicole Landi and Dr. Ken Pugh.
  • PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Toronto (Advisor: Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto)
  • Research internship with National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center - Visual Language and Visual Learning Center (VL2) - Brain and Language Laboratory (BL2) at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
  • MA in Linguistics, University of Western Ontario
  • BSc in Biology, University of Toronto

 

I am fundamentally interested in the neural mechanisms that support language (monolingual or bilingual, signed or spoken), reading and cognitive development across the lifespan.  My research asks questions such as how does early life experience change the brain’s capacity for language and learning?  I use MRI and functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging technology in combination with genetic and behavioral analyses to gain new insights into the biological underpinnings of language, reading, and human cognition.

 

Recently, my research has focused on understanding child development (particularly literacy outcomes) in environments with high risk of illiteracy. Currently, my team and I are conducting a field neuroimaging study in the rural Côte d'Ivoire aimed at understanding how the neural circuitry for reading emerges under extremely poor conditions (more).

 

My research also develops novel data analysis approaches to functional neuroimaging data.  My work uses combinations of multivariate statistics and modeling to quantify developmental changes among interacting brain systems that give rise to language and higher cognitive functions.

 

 

DOWNLOAD CV

Published (or Accepted for Publication)

Jasińska, K., and Guei, Sosthene (2018). Neuroimaging filed methods using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to Study Global Child Development: Rural sub-Saharan Africa. JoVE.

Jasińska, K. Molfese, P., Mencl, W.E., Pugh, K.R., Grigorenko, E. & Landi, N. (2017). The BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism is Associated with Structural Neuroanatomical Differences in Young Children. Behavioural Brain Research 328. 48-56. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2017.03.014.

Jasińska, K. & Petitto, L.A. (2017). Age of Bilingual Exposure Predicts Distinct Contributions of Phonology and Semantics to Successful Reading Development. Child Development.

Jasińska, K., Berens, M. S., Kovelman, I., & Petitto, L. A. (2016). Bilingualism yields language-specific plasticity in left hemisphere's circuitry for learning to read in young children. Neuropsychologia.

Jasińska, K. Molfese, P., Mencl, W.E., Pugh, K.R., Grigorenko, E. & Landi, N. (2016). Relations Between the BDNF Val/Met Polymorphism, Patterns of Neural Activation in the Developing Brain and Children's Reading and Reading-Related Skills. PLOS One.

Jasińska, K., Frost, S., Molfese, P., Landi, N., Mencl, W. E., Rueckle, J., and Pugh, K. (2016). Neuroimaging Perspectives on Skilled and Impaired Reading and the Bilingual Experience. In A. Khateb and I. Bar Kochva (Eds.), Reading Fluency: Current Insights from Neuro-Cognitive Research and Intervention Studies. Haifa, Israel: Springer

Jasińska, K. & Petitto, L.A. (2014). Development of Neural Systems for Reading in the Monolingual and Bilingual Brain: New Insights from functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Neuroimaging. Developmental Neuropsychology. 39(6), 421-39. doi: 10.1080/87565641.2014.939180.

Jasińska, K. & Petitto, L.A. (2013). How Age of Bilingual Exposure Can Change the Neural Systems for Language in the Developing Brain: A functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Investigation of Syntactic Processing in Monolingual and Bilingual Children. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. 6, 87-101. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2013.06.005.

Petitto, L.A., Berens, M.S., Kovelman, I., Dubins, M.H., Jasińska, K., & Shalinsky, M. (2012). The “Perceptual Wedge” hypothesis as the basis for bilingual babies’ phonetic processing advantage: New insights from fNIRS brain imaging. Brain and Language. 121(2), 142-155. doi:0.1016/j.bandl.2011.05.003

Submitted or Under Revision

Ryherd, K., Jasinska, K., Baron, E., Molfese, P., Mencl, W. E., Cutting, L. E. & Landi, N. (Submitted) Neural Activation of Semantic Networks Contributes to Reading Comprehension Skill.

Jasińska, K. & Petitto, L.A. (Submitted). Insights into the Neural Basis of Reading using Multilevel Linear Modeling (MLM) of functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) Neuroimaging Data: Novel Applications and Insights into Brain Function.

Jasińska, K. & Petitto, L.A. (Submitted). Increased Functional Connectivity in the Developing Bilingual Brain During Language Processing

Jasińska, K. & Do Cao, L. (Submitted). Novel Educational Study in Sub-Saharan Africa: Predictors for Academic Success in STEM Fields.

Conference Presentations (Select)

Jasińska, K., Shuai, L., Lau, A., Landi, N. & Pugh, K. (2017). Using psychophysiological interactions with fNIRS Neuroimaging to Predict 4 year-old Reading Ability. Organization for Human Brain Mapping, Vancouver, Canada.

Jasińska, K., Shuai, L., Lau, A., Mulder, H., Landi, N. & Pugh, K. (2017). Neural Connectivity During Language Processing in 4 Year-Olds Predicts Later Reading Ability. Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, TX.

Jasińska, K., Hager, C., Amon, A., Guei, S., Kakou, C., Koffi, S., & Seri, A. (2017) Literacy Development in Rural Cocoa Communities. Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, TX.

Jasińska, K., Molfese, P., Mencl, W.E., Frost, S., Lee, M., Pugh, K.R., Grigorenko, E. & Landi, N. (2016). The BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism is Associated with Structure and Function in the Developing Brain with Implications for Children’s Cognitive Abilities. Cognitive Neuroscience Society. New York, NY.

Lau, A., Jasińska, K., Shuai, L., Bortfeld, H., Landi, L., & Pugh, K. (2016). Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) Investigation of Emerging Reading Pathways in Children with Poor Phonological Awareness. Cognitive Neuroscience Society. New York, NY.

Ryherd, K., Hung, Y-H., Baron, E., Jasinska, K., Mencl, W.E., & Landi, N (2016, April). Individual differences in activation and functional connectivity across modality and processing level. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, New York, NY.

Ryherd, K., Baron, E., Jasinska, K., Mencl, W.E., & Landi, N. (2015, October). Reading comprehension ability and semantic activation to single words and discourse: an fMRI -partial least squares analysis. Society for the Neurobiology of Language, Chicago, IL.

Jasińska, K., Buis, B., Cort, B., Molfese, P., Mencl, E., Bortfeld, H & Pugh, K. (2015, June) Neural Representations for Spoken and Written Language In Beginning Readers: Insights from fNIRS and fMRI Neuroimaging. Organization for Human Brain Mapping. Honolulu, HI.

Ryherd, K., Baron, E., Jasińska, K., Mencl, E., Landi, N. (2015, April). Neural Activation of Semantic Networks Contribute to Reading Comprehension Skill. Association for Psychological Science. New York, NY.

Jasińska, K., Parbhu, B., Shaw, K, Bortfeld, H & Pugh, K. (2015, March) Neural Representations for Spoken and Written Language during Emergent Literacy. Society for Research in Child Development. Philadelphia, PA.

Jasińska, K. Berens, M. S., Kovelman, I., & Petitto, L. A. (2014). Shedding new light on reading in Spanish-English and English-French bilingual school children: an fNIRS investigation. Cognitive Neuroscience Society. Boston, MA.

Landi, N., Kornilov, S. Molfese, P., Jasińska, K., Lee, M., Mencl, W.E., Hoeft, F., Pugh, K. & Grigorenko, E. (2014). Common but impactful genetic polymorphisms in COMT and BDNF are associated strongly with reading and related skills and associated patterns of neural activity. Cognitive Neuroscience Society. Boston, MA.

Jasińska, K. Langdon, C. & Petitto, L.A. (2013). Does early exposure to a visual signed language “hurt” auditory language tissue development: Evidence from fNIRS neuroimaging of language processing in deaf individuals Cochlear Implants. Society for Neuroscience. San Diego, CA.

Jasińska, K. & Petitto, L.A. (2013). Age of Bilingual Exposure Predicts Distinct Contributions of Phonological and Semantic Knowledge to Successful Reading Development. Society for Research in Child Development. Seattle, WA.

Jasińska, K. & Petitto, L.A. (2012). Temporal Dynamics of Bilingual Language Processing as a New Lens into Human Brain Lateralization: an fNIRS study. Society for Neuroscience. New Orleans, LA.

Jasińska, K. & Petitto, L.A. (2011, November). Dual language exposure in infancy can change neural and language processing in the developing brain: an fNIRS investigation. Society for Neuroscience . Washington, DC.
***Note: Presentation was selected for the Society for Neuroscience official Press Book.

Jasińska, K., Jowkar-Baniani, G., Ahmed, F., Forster, E., Bhasin-Laceman, S., Naimi, A, Petitto, L.A., and Dunbar, K.N. (2011, November). Simultaneous imaging of neural activations of women and men in real-time conversation using fNIRS.  Society for Neuroscience. Washington, DC.

Jasińska, K., Malkowski, M., & Petitto, L.A. (2011, April). How the Bilingual Reading Experience Can Change a Developing Brain: New Insights from fNIRS. Society for Research in Child Development. Montreal, QC.

Jasińska, K., Malkowski, M., & Petitto, L.A. (2010, November). Neural Correlates of Syntactic Processing in Monolingual and Bilingual Children using event-related functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) Imaging. Society for Neuroscience. San Diego, CA.

Skarakis-Doyle, E., Campbell, W., Jasińska, K., Terry, A., Gillespie, S., Archibald, L., Theurer, J., & Schidowka, J. (2010, June). The cooperative principle and theory of mind children with language impairment. Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders. Madison, Wisconsin.

Skarakis-Doyle, E., Campbell, W., Terry, A., Jasińska, K., & Gillespie, S. (2008, June). The cooperative principle and theory of mind in preschool children: understanding others’ intentions and beliefs. Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders conference. Madison, Wisconsin.

 

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Email: jasinska@udel.edu

 

University of Delaware

Linguistics and Cognitive Science

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Newark, DE