Sarah Bakst

Position title: Research Associate


sarah bakst headshot

I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow working in the Brain, Language, and Acoustic Behavior (BLAB) Lab and collaborating with the Binaural Hearing and Speech Lab (BHSL) at UW–Madison. In both labs, my research investigates the role of the auditory system in speech produced by two atypical populations. My work with BLAB lab considers how speakers learning a foreign language detect errors in their speech; a lack of experience with new sounds can make it difficult to assess whether speech targets are being produced as expected. My work with BHSL investigates how speakers who use cochlear implants are able to assess accuracy in their own speech, given that the implant provides acoustic information at a low spectral resolution.

Before my postdoc, I received my B.A. in Linguistics with a minor in Classics from Harvard University in 2011, my M.Phil from the University of Cambridge in 2012, and my Ph.D. in Linguistics from UC Berkeley in 2017. My graduate research focused on relationships between vocal tract anatomy differences and articulatory variability (ultrasound), as well as influences of native language phonology (American English, Hindi, Tamil) on speech production and acoustic cue-weighting in speech perception.