Karen EmmoreyDr. Karen Emmorey

Distinguished Professor
SDSU School of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences

Phone: (619) 594-8080
Office: 6495 Alvarado Rd, Suite 200


Dr. Karen Emmorey is the Director of the Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience, which is home to one of the most comprehensive sign language research programs in the world. She received her doctorate in Linguistics in 1987 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and she was a Senior Staff Scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies until 2005.

Dr. 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 and hearing people produce and comprehend sign language and how these processes are represented in the brain. Her research interests also include bimodal bilingualism (i.e., sign-speech bilingualism) and the neurocognitive underpinnings of reading skill in profoundly deaf adults. Dr. Emmorey is the author/editor of 4 books and more than 100 journal articles and chapters. She currently holds research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.


book 1 cover   Emmorey, K. (2003). Perspectives on Classifier Constructions in Sign Languages. Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates: Mahwah, NJ.
book cover a   Emmorey, K. (2002). Language, cognition, and the brain: Insights from sign language research. Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates: Mahwah, NJ.
book 2 cover   Emmorey, K., & Lane, H. (2000). The signs of language revisited: An anthology to honor Ursula Bellugi and Edward Klima, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, NJ.
book 3 cover   Emmorey, K. & Reilly, J. (1995). Language, Gesture, and Space, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Hillsdale, NJ.