Edwin Maas received a masters degree in neurolinguistics from the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), and worked as a clinical linguist at the Rotterdam Aphasia Foundation before pursuing his Ph.D. in language and communicative disorders from San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego. His early research focused on verb and sentence processing in aphasia and basic mechanisms of sentence comprehension. His interest in treatment research led him to shift focus to speech production and its disorders. To supplement his background and training in neurolinguistics, he obtained postdoctoral training at Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a focus on speech motor control. He joined Temple University’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2015.
As Co-Director of the Speech, Language, and Brain Laboratory (SLAB Lab), he conducts research on speech production across the lifespan in unimpaired individuals and in various populations with speech and/or language disorders, such as aphasia, apraxia of speech, and phonological disorders. Two central, overarching questions motivate and drive this research: (1) What is the underlying nature of a given speech disorder? and (2) How can we optimize treatment for speech disorders?
Regarding the first question, research focuses on the various underlying mechanisms, representations and processes involved in generating speech, how these may be disrupted in speech disorders, and how we can identify and characterize such disruptions. This research line combines different methodologies, including perceptual speech error analysis, psycholinguistic reaction time studies, acoustic analysis, and neuropsychology. Regarding the second question, Dr. Maas conducts treatment studies to determine the efficacy of treatment for speech disorders, as well as to identify practice conditions that optimize speech motor learning (principles of motor learning derived from the motor skill learning literature). Both lines of research are theoretically motivated and have implications for models of normal speech production as well as for clinical practice, including diagnosis and treatment.