Sara Sanchez-Alonso, Ph.D.

Sara Sanchez-Alonso's picture
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
203 865-6163




Postdoctoral Associate at Haskins Laboratories
Language Learning and Multisensory Brain (LLAMB) Lab


PhD Yale University, 2018
MA Yale University, 2014

Research Interests:

My overarching research focus is on human language. I am particularly interested in early childhood, an important period to establish foundational language skills, which are crucial for later language and educational achievements. Most language delays and disorders emerge during the first years of life and are diagnosed only in the absence of expected behavioral milestones. Although behavioral milestones in language acquisition have been extensively characterized, it is virtually unknown how language-related neural systems develop over time and how they may contribute to early diagnosis of developmental disorders.

My research addresses this gap by investigating language-related neural and behavioral variation using complementary multi-modal neuroimaging techniques. Specifically, my work combines functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) –a more practical method for pediatric studies than fMRI– to map developmental neurobehavioral variation. The goal of my research is to inform typical and atypical development and advance paradigms for cross-age (infant-to-child) comparisons of language acquisition. Furthermore, my research aims to inform neural markers of language delays that can provide early detection and clinical intervention during key windows of neuroplasticity.


Selected Publications:

Sanchez-Alonso, S, Aslin, R.N. (2020). Towards Predictive Modeling of Neurodevelopmental State and Trait Variation. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Special Issue in Cutting-Edge Approaches to Developmental Neuroscience.


Sanchez-Alonso, S., Rosenberg, M.D., Aslin R.N. (Revise and Resubmit). Functional Connectivity Patterns Predict Naturalistic Viewing versus Rest Across Development. NeuroImage, Special Issue in Naturalistic Imaging.


Sanchez-Alonso, S., Deo, A., Pinango, M. (2016). Copular Distinction and Constrained Variability in Copular Use in Iberian and Mexican Spanish. U. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 23.1.

Sanchez-Alonso, S. (2015). Changes in the Distributional Patterns of the Spanish Copulas. In Kaeshammer, M. & Schulz, P. (eds.). Proceedings of ESSLLI 2015. Barcelona.
Sanchez-Alonso, S., Ly, A., Braze, D., Lacadie, C.M., Constable, T., Pinango, M.M. (2014). The Neural Basis of Argument Structure Composition Through Eye-Tracking, Focal-Brain Lesion and fMRI. In Bello, P., Guarini, M. S., McShane, M. & Scassellati, B. (eds.). Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
Martinez-Ferreiro, S., Bachrach, A., Sanchez-Alonso, S., Picallo, C. (2013). Violating Canonicity in Spanish Agrammatism. In Moreno-Torres Sanchez, I.,& Moruno Lopez, E., Madrid Canovas, S. (eds.). Advances in Clinical Linguistics: Proceedings of the III International Conference in Clinical Linguistics. Malaga:University of Malaga.
Sanchez-Alonso, S., Martinez-Ferreiro, S., Bastiaanse, R. (2011). Clitics in Spanish Agrammatic Aphasia: A Study of the Production of Unaccusative, Reflexive and Object Clitics. In Hendrickx, I., Lalitha Devi, S., Branco. & Mitkov, R. (eds.). Anaphora Processing and Applications.Heidelberg: Springer.