Pascal van Lieshout, PhD

University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands

In April 1987, I received a MA in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. In doing so, I became the first official alumnus of this program, which started in 1984 as the first and only recognized research graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology in the Netherlands. At the same time, I received my MA in Linguistics and this dual background was reflected in my thesis on bilingual language processing after an early lesion in the left thalamic and temporal regions (published in Brain and Language, 38, 173-194, 1990). In May 1987, I started my Ph.D. research in speech motor control under the supervision of Drs. Hulstijn and Peters at the Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information (NICI). I defended and published my thesis in 1995 (Motor Planning and Articulation in Fluent Speech of Stutterers and Nonstutterers, NICI Technical Report 95-07, ISBN 90-9008630-7). From 1992 until 1998, I held a position as a post-doc/associate researcher at the NICI, doing studies on speech motor control from a dynamical system’s perspective. In 1995, I also became a part-time research coordinator in the Department of Voice and Speech Pathology at the ENT clinic of the Academic Hospital Nijmegen (now called Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre). In January 1998, I took up my current position as speech scientist in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto. I teach fundamentals of speech science and am the founder and director of the Oral Dynamics Lab (ODL), a unique facility to conduct research on oral motor control in speech and swallowing. I (co)supervise research students at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral level from a variety of disciplines (speech-language pathology, rehabilitation science, engineering, psychology & linguistics).

Professional interest:
My area of expertise is oral motor control, in particular the ‘interface’ between higher order functions and speech motor processes. My research populations include typical speakers, people who stutter, and people with neurogenic speech disorders as found in Parkinson’s disease and verbal apraxia. My main theoretical interest is in Dynamical Systems theory (especially Coordination Dynamics) and the way it can be applied to normal and disordered speech production. I (have) work(ed) with many different research methodologies and techniques, including Electro-magnetic Articulography or EMA, EMG, 3D video, and acoustic analysis. I was among the first groups of researchers worldwide using the Carstens’ AG100 system, a unique piece of equipment to monitor and record movements of lips, jaw, and tongue during speaking and swallowing. Most recently, a team from the Hospital for Sick Children, The Bloorview Research Institute and the University of Toronto spearheaded by Dr. Douglas Cheyne and myself developed a new articulograph system that utilizes Magnetoencephalography (MEG) to track movements of oral articulators simultaneously with cortical brain activity (IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2016 Aug;63(8):1709-17). The system is called MASK (Magnetoarticulography for the Assessment of Speech Kinematics) and we are currently collaborating with Dr. Blake Johnson at Macquarie University in Sidney to implement this new tool in a research project on developmental aspects of speech motor control funded by the Australian Research Council. Furthermore, I am since 2012 editor-in-chief for the Journal of Fluency Disorders.


Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI)

Department of Psychology

Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (RSI), University of Toronto

Department of Spanish & Portuguese, University of Toronto