Dr. Karen Emmorey’s research focuses on what sign languages can reveal about the nature of human language, cognition, and the brain. She studies the processes involved in how deaf people produce and comprehend sign language and how these processes are represented in the brain. She also investigates how experience with a signed language impacts nonlinguistic visual-spatial cognition, such as face processing, memory, and mental imagery. Her research interests include how language modality impacts spatial language (talking about space), the nature of bimodal bilingualism (ASL-English bilinguals), and the relationship between fingerspelling and reading. Her investigations of the neural correlates of language and nonlinguistic cognitive functions draw on data from neuroimaging (fMRI and PET), and this work also focuses on macro neuroanatomical changes than can occur as a result of deafness or sign language experience.