School of Health and Medical Sciences

Laboratory Director:Nina Capone, Ph.D., CCC-SLP


The mission of the Developmental Language and Cognition Laboratory is to understand (1) the typical course of language and feeding development, (2) the cognitive skills that underlie language development, (3) how children with language impairments differ in these processes, and (4) the efficacy of intervention for children with language impairments and dysphagia.  

Current Laboratory Projects
The current laboratory projects study (1) how gesturing by adults influences word learning for children with and without language learning delay, and (2) how children’s gestures reflect what they know. The laboratory staff are also developing a line of research to examine feeding development. 

How to Participate

Participation can take place at the university laboratory, in the child’s home or other preschool setting. If you are interested in learning more about participation now or in the future, please contact the laboratory director (973-275-2448).

Laboratory Staff
Nina Capone, Ph.D., CCC-SLP- laboratory director
Monique Kaye, MS, CCC-SLP – doctoral student
Pascale Nelson, MS, CCC-SLP- doctoral student
Brittany Conwell, MS student
Liane Allen, MS '10
Suzanne MacMaster, MS '10
Lauren LaBarbara, MS '08, CCC-SLP

About the Laboratory Director
Dr. Capone is an associate professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Seton Hall University. She earned a BA from Boston University (1990) and her MA (1997) and PhD (2003) from Northwestern University.  She has held clinical positions at the Children’s Seashore House (Philadelphia, PA), Children’s Memorial Hospital (Chicago, IL), and the Westchester Institute for Human Development (Valhalla, NY).  Prior to her joining the faculty at Seton Hall University Dr. Capone held a faculty appointment at New York Medical College.  Clinically, Dr. Capone evaluates and treats children between the ages of birth to 8 years.  She has extensive experience in the area of pediatric dysphagia.  She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and maintains her professional license.  

In her research, Dr. Capone investigates the relationship between semantic learning and lexical expression as well as the relationship between gesture and language development.  She has published in the Journal of Child Language and the Journal of Speech, Language, Hearing Research.  She has presented at national (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) and international conferences (International Association for the Study of Child Language, Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders, Early Lexical Acquisition).  She is a reviewer for the Brain and Language and the journal Gesture and serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (2010-2013).  She serves on university and national committees.  The Researcher of the Year award was bestowed upon Dr. Capone by the School of Graduate Medical Education in 2006, and she was awarded the Provost’s Faculty Scholarship Award in 2007.  In 2008, Dr. Capone was awarded a New Investigator's Research Grant by the ASHA Foundation.

Dr. Capone mentors undergraduate, master, and doctoral level students’ theses, and teaches several courses that cover the following topics: language development, language and articulation disorders, early intervention, and pediatric dysphagia.  

     Capone, N.(under revision). Semantic Enrichment via Gesture Support Word Extension.  Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research.

    Capone, N. (2007). Tapping Toddlers’ Evolving Semantic Representation via Gesture.  Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, 50(3), 732-745.

    Capone, N., and McGregor, K. (2005). The Effect of Semantic Representation on Toddlers’ Word Retrieval.  Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, 48(6), 1468-1480.

    McGregor, K., and Capone, N. (2004). Genetic and Environmental Interactions in Determining the Early Lexicon: Evidence from a Set of Tri-Zygotic Quadruplets.  Journal of Child Language, 31, 311-337.

    Capone, N., and McGregor, K. (2004). Gesture Development: A Review for Clinical and Research Practices.  Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, 47(1), 173-186.

    McGregor, K., Newman, R., Reilly, R., and Capone, N. (2002). Semantic Representation and Naming in Children with Specific Language Impairment.  Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, 45(5), 998-1014.


     Shulman, B. and Capone, N. (2010). Language Development, Foundations, Processes, and Clinical Applications.  Baltimore, MD: Jones & Bartlett.

Select Chapters

     Capone, N. (2010). Language Disorders in Children. In A Primer on Communicative Disorders. Allyn & Bacon. 

     Capone, N. and Sheng, L. (2010). Individual Differences in Word Learning: Implications for Clinical Practice. In Perspectives on Individual Differences Affecting Therapeutic Change in Communication Disorders.  Taylor & Francis.

Invited Conference Presentations
   Capone, N. (2010, May). Late Talking Toddlers: Diagnosis, Prognosis and Treatment, Annual convention of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Atlantic City, N.J.

Recent Poster Presentations
    Allen, L., Conwell, B., & Capone, N. (2010, April). Pediatric Feeding Milestones: A Critical Review & Project Development, Annual convention of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Atlantic City, N.J.

About Our Students
Monique Kaye is a doctoral student at Seton Hall University.  She is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist who has held clinical and director positions at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.  She is currently practicing privately and in the school system, and teaching as an adjunct at Seton Hall University and at Kean University.  Monique holds a specialized certificate in orofacial myology from the International Association of Orofacial Myology, acts as an editor for the International Journal of Orofacial Myology, and has published two texts, Building Functional Social Skills and Guide to Dysarthria Management: A Client-Clinician Approach.  Monique was awarded the Honors of the Association by the NJ Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2007.  Monique’s research examines children’s metalinguistic language development and literacy.  

Pascale Nelson, MS, CCC-SLP is a doctoral student at Seton Hall University.  She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).  Pascale is also licensed in New Jersey as well as in New York State.  She is practicing in various sub-acute, long-term care facilities and also in the New Jersey public school system.  Pascale would like to focus her doctoral research in the area of gesture and bilingual children.

Brittany Conwell is a MS student in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology.  She is completing a thesis that examines the components of spoon feeding.

Liane Allen, MS '10 completed a thesis that examines the state of data-based literature in pediatric feeding and swallowing development.

Suzanne MacMaster, MS '10 completed a thesis that examines gesture communication in children with communication disorders.

Lauren LeBarbera, MS '08, CCC-SLP, completed a thesis that examined the developmental profile, intervention and outcome of late talking toddlers.

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