Lab Director

Julia Evans

Professor, Speech Language
Director, Child Language & Cognitive Processes Lab

Phone: (619) 594-7907
Office: AP&M 1840
Office Hours:   By Appointment
Professor's Portrait


  • Postdoc Carnegie Mellon University, 1990-1993 (Cognitive Psychology)
  • Ph.D. The University of Michigan, 1990 (Speech Language Pathology)
  • M.S. Columbia, Teachers College, 1984 (Speech Language Pathology)
  • B.S. University of Colorado, 1982 (Speech Language Pathology)

Professional Memberships/Affiliations:

  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • American Speech, Language, Hearing Association

Scholarly Areas:

Dr. Julia Evans’ research focuses on processing deficits in school-aged children with language learning disorders. She is particularly interested in how changes in external processing demands affect real-time language processing at phonological, lexical, syntactic, and discourse levels in both typically developing children and children with Specific Language Impairments (SLI). Using both experimental paradigms and computer simulations from a Dynamical Systems framework, her research explores models of language disorders that capture both stability and variability in real time language processing. A second line of research in her lab approaches the study of language from an embodied cognitive framework that encompasses social, emotional, perceptual, and motor representations. This line of research explores an embedded definition of linguistic cognition by applying current models of the co-ordination and mismatch between verbal and gestures during communication and cognitive processing tasks in children with and without language impairments. Her research draws on data from behavioral experiments, speaker’s spontaneous gestures, and electrophysiologal and neuroimaging (ERP and fMRI) data.


Dr. Evans received her Ph.D. in Communicative Disorders in 1990 from The University of Michigan. She completed both a Postdoc and NIH Career Award in Cognitive Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1998, she joined the faculty in the department of Communicative Disorders at the University of Wisconsin as an Assistant professor, and received tenure in 2004. While at the University of Wisconsin she also was a PI at the Waisman Center, Director of the Child Language and Cognitive Processes Lab, and member of the Psychology Department. Dr. Evans is author on several book chapters, more than 30 peer reviewed journal articles, and over 60 national and international conference presentations. Dr. Evans has held multiple grants from the National Institutes on Health and the Spencer Foundation, and currently holds an R01 from the National Institute on Deafness and Communicative Disorders. She has served as member and chair of the CDRC review committee at NIDCD and mentored multiple NSRA pre- and postdoctoral awards. She has also served on the Editorial Board and reviewed for Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, Brain and Language, International Journal of Communicative Disorders, Journal of Child Language.