Yan Yu

Associate ProfessorGraduate Director
Ph.D., CUNY, Graduate CenterM.A.,St. John’s UniversityB.A., Hubei Normal University, China

Yan Yu uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine brain plasticity for auditory and cognitive (language and music) processing in both neurotypical and neurologically impaired populations. In particular, Yu focuses on how experience (language and music) interact with brain development, and what’s the brain’s malleability in response to neurointervention. Yu’s research incorporates approaches from several disciplines spanning from communication sciences and disorders, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and neurointervention.

Dr. Yu is a nationally certified speech-language pathologist. Dr. Yu’s clinical expertise is in the area of bilingual speech and language development, and atypical language development including autism spectrum disorders and developmental language disorders.

  1. Yu, Y. H., & Shafer, V.L. (2021). Neural representation of the English vowel feature [high]: Evidence from /e/ versus /ɪ/. Frontiers in Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2021.629517
  2. Yu, Y. H. & Shafer, V.L. (2020, book chapter). Behavioral and Neurophysiological Evidence of Speech Processing in Chinese-speaking Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review and Future Directions. In H. M. Liu, F.M. Tsao, & P. Li. (eds.) Speech Perception, Production and Acquisition - Multidisciplinary Approaches in Chinese language. Springer. 
  3. Yu YH, Tessel CA, Xu H, Campanelli L, Vidal-finnerty N, Gerometta J, Garrido-Nag K, Datta, H., Shafer VL. (2019). Neural indices of vowel discrimination in monolingual and bilingual infants and children. Ear and Hearing. DOI:10.1097/aud.0000000000000726. PMID: 3103369
  4. Yu, Y. H., Shafer, V. L. & Sussman, E. S. (2018) The duration of auditory sensory memory for vowel processing: Neurophysiological and behavioral measures. Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00335  
  5. Jacobson, P.F., & Yu, Y. H. (2018). Changes in English Past Tense Use by Bilingual School-age Children with and without Language Impairment. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. DOI: 10.1044/2018_jslhr-l-17-0044 
  6. Yu, Y. H, Shafer V. L. & Sussman E. S. (2017) Neurophysiological and Behavioral Responses of Mandarin Lexical Tone Processing. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 11:95. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2017.00095 http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnins.2017.00095/full
  7. Tanja Rinker, Valerie L. Shafer, Marcus Kiefer, Nancy Vidal, Yan H. Yu. (2017). T-complex measures in bilingual Spanish-English and Turkish-German children and monolingual peers. Journal: Plos One http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171992
  8. Cantiani C, Choudhury NA, Yu, Y.H., Shafer VL, Schwartz RG, Benasich AA. (2016). From Sensory Perception to Lexical-Semantic Processing: An ERP Study in Non-Verbal Children with Autism. PLoS One. 11(8):e0161637. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161637. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27560378; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4999236.
  9. Shafer, V.L., Yu, Y. H., Wagner, M. (2015). Maturation of cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) to speech recorded from frontocentral and temporal sites: three months to eight years of age. International Journal of Psychophysiology,95(2):77-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.08.1390.
  10. Werth, Y., Epsten, B., Yu, Y.H., Shafer, V.L. (2014). An Electrophysiological Investigation of Discourse Coherence in Healthy Adults: Implications for Clinical Populations. Journal of Clinical Phonetics, DOI: 10.3109/02699206.2014.910555.
  11. Yu, Y. H. , Choudhury, N., Cantiani, C., Shafer, V.L., MacRoy-Higgens, M., Schwartz, R.G., Benasich, A.A. (2012).Electrophysiological correlates of picture-word processing in three-to-seven year old non-verbal children with Autism. The Proceedings of  the 36th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), 36(2), 686-697.
  12. Shafer, V.L., Yu, Y. H., & Garrido-Nag, K. (2012). The ERP indices of English vowel perception at 6 months of age: Monolinguals and bilinguals. Neuroscience Letters. 526(1):10-14.
  13. Yu, Y.H., Shafer, V. L., Sussman, E. (2012). Comparing language experience and task demands in Mandarin tone processing: Neurophysiological evidence. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(4), 3233-3233. http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4708060
  14. Shafer, V.L., Yu, Y. H., & Hia Datta. (2011). The development of English vowel perception in monolingual and bilingual infants: Neurophysiological correlates. Journal of Phonetics. 39(4):527-545 doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2010.11.010
  15. Yu, Y. H. &  Shafer, V.L. (2011). Electrophysiological Indices of Six-month-olds’ Sensitivity to English Vowels: gender effect and language experience. The Proceedings of  the 35th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), 35(2),652-664.
  16. Shafer, V.L., Yu, Y. H., & Hia Datta. (2010). Maturation of speech discrimination in four to seven-year old children as indexed by Event-Related Potential Mismatch Responses. Ear and Hearing, 31(6):735-45.
  17. Yu, Y. H., & Shafer, V.L. (2021). Neural representation of the English vowel feature [high]: Evidence from /e/ versus /ɪ/. Frontiers in Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2021.629517

Courses at St. John’s University:

CSD1750 Speech Science (Undergraduate)

CSD4990 Seminar (Undergraduate)

CSD201 Introduction to Research Methods (Graduate)

CSD203 Models of Language Behaviors (Graduate)

CSD318 Developmental Language Disorders (Graduate)

CSD325 Bilingual Studies (Graduate)

CSD440 Advanced Research Methods (Graduate)

CSD321 Speech-Language Assessment and Treatment in Infant and Toddlers

Dr. Yu is the Principal Investigator and director of the Language and Brain Plasticity Laboratory.

Yan Yu has served as an ad hoc reviewer for peer-reviewed journals including Brain Topography, Cerebral Cortex, Developmental Science, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Frontiers in Psychology, International Journal of Psychophysiology, Journal of Speech-Language and Hearing Research, Neuroscience Letters, Neuropsychologia and Plos One.

Yan Yu and her lab members present research at national and international conferences regularly.