Assistant Professor of Deaf Studies
BA in Human Biology, Stanford University
MA in Education (Cognition and Development), University of California, Berkeley
PhD in Special Education (Atypical Developmental Psycholinguistics), University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University (Joint Program)
Prior to joining the BU faculty, Dr. Lieberman worked as a Research Scientist at the Center for Research on Language and the Mayberry Lab for Multimodal Language Development at the University of California, San Diego. At UCSD, Dr. Lieberman has conducted research on the development of language and literacy skills in deaf individuals. Specifically, she served as a co-PI on a project funded by the NSF Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2), where she studied the development of visual attention in young deaf children interacting with their deaf parents. Through analysis of naturalistic observations of parent-child dyads, Dr. Lieberman has shown that deaf children engage in frequent and meaningful gaze shifts between objects and people, and that this gaze switching ability develops at a young age when children are exposed to a natural sign language from birth. She has also participated in research on the impact of delayed first language acquisition in deaf individuals who did not acquire their first language until adolescence.
Currently, Dr. Lieberman serves as the PI on an NIH-funded project to study language processing in deaf individuals. As part of this project, Dr. Lieberman has developed a novel eye-tracking paradigm to investigate real-time processing of American Sign Language. Her research has shown that delayed first language acquisition in deaf individuals has a lasting impact on linguistic processing abilities. Her study of sign recognition in deaf adults and children suggests that, like spoken language, sign language is processed dynamically and incrementally.
Dr. Lieberman has extensive experience working with deaf children and their families as a Teacher at Gallaudet University’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center and at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont. She has also participated in outreach and education programs targeting teachers of the deaf throughout the US, and has prepared research briefs designed for parents and professionals.