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Heather Dial, Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor
Phone: 713.743.9625
Email: hrdial@central.uh.edu
Office: Melcher Life Sciences M242F
Curriculum Vitae


Heather Dial ,Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Rice University, her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Houston, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interests are in the cognitive and neural processes supporting speech perception and language comprehension, with a focus on how these processes are impacted in stroke-induced and primary progressive aphasia. She is also interested in cognitive and neural processes supporting recovery of speech and language in these populations.

Education

  • Ph.D., Psychology, Rice University, Houston, TX
  • M.A., Psychology, Rice University, Houston, TX
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX

Teaching

  • Neuroscience for Communication Disorders (COMD 4333)

Research Interests

Dr. Dial’s research interests relate to the cognitive and neural processes supporting speech perception and language comprehension. Her work investigates cognitive and neural changes in speech and language processing in the context of stroke-induced and primary progressive aphasia, rehabilitation of speech and language processing in these populations, and the cognitive and neural processes supporting treatment-induced gains. Her research takes an interdisciplinary approach to bridge the gap between basic science and applied, clinical research and uses a wide variety of methods, including behavioral, eye-tracking, structural neuroimaging (voxel-based lesion symptom mapping, voxel-based morphometry), electroencephalography (EEG), natural language processing, and machine learning. In ongoing work, Dr. Dial seeks to examine the relation between performance on traditional, constrained speech and language tasks (e.g., minimal pairs discrimination, single picture-word matching) and more naturalistic, ecologically valid tasks (e.g., listening to an audiobook). The findings of this work will have implications for diagnosis and clinical characterization of individuals with aphasia.

Recent Grants (past 5 years)

  • 2018-2021 National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH/NIDCD) Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award, F32DC016812-01 Investigating Neural Signatures of Rehabilitation in Primary Progressive Aphasia, Role: Principal Investigator
  • 2017-2018 Texas Speech and Hearing Association, Lear Ashmore Research Fellowship, Role Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

(For a full list of publications, see CV.)

  • Dial, H., Gnanateja, N., Tessmer, R., Gorno-Tempini, M.L., Chandrasekaran, B., & Henry, M. (2020). Cortical tracking of the speech envelope in logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.597694
  • Henry, M., Hubbard, I., Grasso, S., Dial, H., Beeson, P., Miller, B., & Gorno-Tempini, M.L. (2019). Treatment for word retrieval in semantic and logopenic variants of primary progressive aphasia: Immediate and long-term outcomes. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 62, 2723-2749. https://doi.org/10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-18-0144
  • Dial, H., McMurray, B., & Martin, R. (2019). Lexical processing depends on sublexical processing: Evidence from the visual world paradigm and aphasia. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 81, 1047-1064. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-019-01718-3
  • Dial, H., Hinshelwood, H., Grasso, S., Hubbard, I., Gorno-Tempini, M.L. & Henry, M. (2019). Investigating the utility of teletherapy in individuals with primary progressive aphasia. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 14, 453-471. https://doi.org/10.2147/cia.s178878
  • Dial, H., & Martin, R. (2017). Evaluating the relationship between sublexical and lexical processing in speech perception: Evidence from aphasia. Neuropsychologia, 96, 192-212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.01.009

Honors

  • Lessons for Success Fellow, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2019)
  • NIDCD Fellowship for Research Symposium in Clinical Aphasiology (2017, 2018)
  • Fellow, Academy of Aphasia

Professional Activities

  • Membership Committee, Academy of Aphasia (2020-present)
  • Program Committee, Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2022)
  • Ad hoc reviewer: Journal of Communication Disorders, Cortex, AJSLP, JSLHR, International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology