James Heaton, Ph.D.

Associate Investigator
Voice Center Research Laboratories, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Professor of Surgery
Harvard Medical School
electromyography; facial nerve; facial nerve injuries; facial nerve regeneration; human voice; laryngeal nerves; neural prostheses; phonation; speech physiology; speech recognition; vibrissae; vocal cords

James T. Heaton received a BA degree in Psychology from Luther College (Decorah, IA) in 1990, and the MS and PhD degrees in Psychology (Neuroscience and Cognitive Science program) from the University of Maryland (College Park, MD) in 1993 and 1997, respectively.

He joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1997 in the Department of Otology and Laryngology, and he is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery.

He is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at MGH Institute, where he teaches neuroanatomy and neurophysiology to graduate students seeking the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. He is also Adjunct Professor for the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences. Dr. Heaton has taught at the Institute since 1998.

Research Interests

  • Human voice and speech physiology
  • Facial and laryngeal nerve regeneration
  • Development of improved voice prosthetic equipment
  • Creation of a speech recognition platform that uses speech-related muscle signals as an input (instead of a microphone) for healthy and dysarthric populations
  • Implantable neural prosthetic systems for facial and laryngeal reanimation after nerve palsy

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