I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area (USA) and graduated with degrees in English and Spanish and a minor in linguistics from the University of California at Davis. After college, I took part in two teaching exchange programs through the Spanish and French governments, in which I taught English as a foreign language in primary schools in Madrid, Spain (2008-2010) and Le Havre, France (2011-2012). Following this experience, I returned home and began working as a cognitive therapy clinician for children and adolescents with a wide range of learning disabilities, including ADHD, ADD, autism spectrum conditions and dyslexia. In 2012, I relocated to Barcelona and completed my M.A. in Cognitive Science and Language and took part in the Acquisition and Pathology Lab at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In 2013, I began my doctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Wolfram Hinzen and Dr. Joana Rosselló at the University of Barcelona and became a member of the Grammar and Cognition Lab.
My research focuses on how language varies across cognitively diverse populations and to what extent this linguistic variance may explain specific symptomatology. At the present, my specific interest is in developing a fine-grained linguistic profile of the autism spectrum. Traditionally within autism research, language abnormalities are often explored as secondary effects of broader communicative impairments. However, my research aims to show how these socio-communicative symptoms pattern with specific grammatical distinctions. By teasing out this interrelation, I hope to better inform us on the relation between language and cognition.
- Elisabet Vila, Kristen Schroeder, Joana Rosselló and Wolfram Hinzen (2016), 'Aproximación al lenguaje en el trastorno del espectro autista', Revista de psicopatología y salud mental del niño y del adolescente, 27, pp. 83-90.