University of Vermont

College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Michael Cannizzaro

Michael Cannizzaro, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Graduate Program Coordinator

Michael Cannizzaro

Office: 401 Pomeroy Hall
Phone: (802) 656-9725
Fax: (802) 656-2528

Dr. Michael Cannizzaro conducts research investigating brain and behavior relationships in both typical and brain-injured populations. This work focuses on the role of the prefrontal cortex during complex communication and tasks that involve executive functions. His research incorporates the study of discourse processing (e.g., conversation & narratives) using behavioral and linguistic metrics to study communication in conjunction with neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI & fNIRS) to monitor task related hemodynamics in the brain.

Most recently, Dr. Cannizzaro’s lab is using modulated cortical activity (i.e., fNIRS & EEG) as a means of interfacing with computers for communication and environmental control. This “Brain Computer Interface” project is a joint undertaking between the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the Computer Science Department and the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program. This work is sponsored in part through UVM’s Trans-disciplinary Neuroscience, Behavior and Health Initiative. 

Dr. Cannizzaro has also worked clinically as a speech-language pathologist and has experience in the assessment and treatment of adults with acquired speech, language and cognitive deficits resulting from stroke, brain-injury, progressive neurodegenerative disorders, and psychiatric illness.


B.S., Speech Pathology, Nazareth College of Rochester; M.S., Communication Disorders, University of New Hampshire; Ph.D., Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Connecticut; Post-Doctoral Training, Pfizer Global Research & Development - The Neuropsychology of Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Courses Taught:

Cognitive Neuroscience - CSD 281; Aphasia - Right Hemisphere and Dementia - CSD 351; Adult Neuropathology - Motor Speech Disorders and Acquired Brain Injury - CSD 353

Key Scholarly Interests:
  • Analysis of prefrontal cortical function as measured by functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) & fMRI
    • Task related processing load during discourse / complex communication
    • Stuttering behavior and cortical laterality in adults - pre and post treatment response
    • A comparison of discourse performance in brain injured and typical adults
  • Developing a brain computer interface for communication and environmental control in persons with severe motor impairments
Publication Highlights:

Hutchins, T. L., & Cannizzaro, M.S. (in press, expected 2014). Review of the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts - Bilingual Spanish-English version (SALT-SE). In J. F. Carlson, K. F. Geisinger, & R. A. Spies (Eds.), The nineteenth mental measurements yearbook. Lincoln, NE: The Buros Institute of Mental Measurements.

Cannizzaro, M.S., & Coelho, C. A. (2013). Analysis of Narrative Discourse Structure as an Ecologically Relevant Measure of Executive Function in Adults. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. 41(6): Published on-line November 2012: PubMed PMID:23192423 DOI 10.1007/s10936-012-9231-5 (Abstract)

Cannizzaro M.S., Dumas J., Prelock P.P., & Newhouse, P. (2012). Organizational structure reduces processing load in the prefrontal cortex during discourse processing of written language: Implications for high - level reading issues after TBI. Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders. 22(2): 67-78

Cannizzaro, M.S., & Coelho, C.A. (2012). Language and communication following executive dysfunction. In: Cognition and Acquired Language Disorders: An Information Processing Approach. R. Peach & L. Shapiro, Eds

Xu R, Mei G, Zhang G, Gao P, Judkins T, Cannizzaro M.S, Li J., (2012). A voice-based automated system for PTSD screening and monitoring. Studies in Health Technology Informatics. 2012;173:552-8. PubMed PMID: 22357057. (Abstract)

Cannizzaro, M.S., Allen, E.A., & Prelock, P.P. (2011). Perceptions of communicative competence after traumatic brain injury: Implications for ecologically driven intervention targets. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 13(6): 549-559 (doi:10.3109/17549507.2011.596571) (Abstract)

Myotte, T., Hutchins, T.L., Cannizzaro, M.S., & Belin, G. (2010). Understanding why SLPs rarely pursue the Ph.D. in communication sciences. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 31(2): 67 - 127.

Johnson, D. & Cannizzaro, M.S. (2009). Sentence comprehension in agrammatic aphasia: History and variability to clinical implications. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 23(1), 15-37. (Abstract)

Goberman, A.M., Johnson, S., Cannizzaro, M.S., & Robb, M.P. (2008). The effect of positioning on infant cries: Implications for sudden infant death syndrome. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 72(2), 153-165. (Abstract)

Mundt, J. M., Snyder, P.J., Cannizzaro, M. S., Chappie, K., & Geralts, D. S. (2007). Voice acoustic measures of depression severity and treatment response collected via interactive voice response (IVR) technology. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 20, 50-64. (Abstract)

Cannizzaro, M.S., Reilly, N. & Snyder, P.J. (2005). The negative symptom complex in schizophrenia is marked by both paucity of thought and motor slowing: A quantitative speech acoustic study. Brain and Cognition, Conference Proceedings from XV TENNET; 57(3), 276-289.

Cannizzaro, M.S., Cohen, H., Reppard, F. & Snyder, P.J. (2005). Bradyphrenia and bradykinesia both contribute to altered speech in persons with schizophrenia: A quantitative speech acoustic study. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology. 18, 206-210. (Abstract)

Cannizzaro, M.S., Reilly, N. & Snyder, P.J. (2005). Remote capture of human voice data by telephone: A methods study. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics. 19, 649-658. (Abstract)

Harel, B.T., Cannizzaro, M.S., Cohen, H., Reilly, N. & Snyder, P.J. (2004). Acoustic characteristics of Parkinsonian speech: A potential biomarker of early disease progression and treatment. Journal of Neurolinguistics. 17, 439-453.

Cannizzaro, M.S., Reilly, N. & Snyder, P.J. (2004). Speech content analysis in feigned depression. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 33, 289-301. (Abstract)

Cannizzaro, M.S., Harel, B. T., Reilly, N., Chappell, P., & Snyder, P.J. (2004). Voice acoustical measurement of the severity of major depression. Brain and Cognition, 56, 30-35. (Abstract)

Harel, B.T., Cannizzaro, M.S., & Snyder, P.J. (2004). Variability in fundamental frequency during speech in prodromal and incipient Parkinson's disease: A longitudinal case study. Brain and Cognition, 56, 24-29. (Abstract)

Reilly, N., Cannizzaro, M.S., Harel, B. T., & Snyder, P.J. (2004). Feigned depression and feigned sleepiness: A voice acoustical analysis. Brain and Cognition, 55, 383-386. (Abstract)

Cannizzaro, M.S. & Coelho, C.A. (2002). Treatment of story grammar following traumatic brain injury: A pilot study. Brain Injury, 16, 1065-1073. (Abstract)

Last modified May 26 2015 02:09 PM