Avatar and Speech Pathology?!

Wow – the semester is nearly half over! It’s hard to believe. So many projects are underway, receiving IRB approval, and research teams are hard at work – this is the part of the semester where research activity is very active!

We had a treat this past Friday when disciplines blended: Dr. Konz from MU’s department of kinesiology came to talk with us and share her ideas. She studies movement of athletes – that’s the simple way of putting it! She explained to us about motion analyses she performs. Have you seen the movie Avatar or Lord of the Rings, and the behind the scenes features on how they make those films? If so, you have seen one way Konz studies motion. She was interested in coming to talk to us about how our areas of study – kinesiology and communication disorders – can work together. For instance, she talked to us about studies that have been done regarding the development of speech, using motion analysis techniques. A discussion, that is always rich I might add, then turned into a huge brainstorming session. How can these motion analyses help us better understand swallowing function, for instance? Or how it could help us better understand motor speech disorders? How exciting that we have these resources at Marshall that we could potentially use! As this anticipated endeavor unfolds, we will of course keep you updated! It is so exciting that disciplines are coming together to help and teach one another. While both disciplines seem very different, there are exciting doors of opportunity to blend the two worlds together.