Presidential Professor of Psychology
309 Little Hall
Up to this point, my scientific interests have been in applied developmental psychology. I was lucky enough to be a young researcher at a time when extraordinary discoveries about the nature of infants’ abilities were underway. I began studying infant’s abilities to distinguish among the sounds of natural languages. At the University of Miami, I took advantage of the large multilingual population to extend findings to English- and/or Spanish- learning infants and children and to look at the links between language and literacy in bilingual children.
From there I branched into studying the effects of deafness and mental retardation on phonological development. I spent some time evaluating alternative hearing devices (hearing aids and tactual vocoders), first from a laboratory-based information transfer point of view and, then from an efficacy perspective.
After a break in research for an administrative stint, I changed my focus and re-specialized in adult clinical psychology. My internship was at the state forensic hospital where I developed an interest in trying to understand the impact of Axis II diagnoses on treatment process, outcome, and recidivism in insanity acquitees and sex offenders. I was struck by the fact that many of the individuals who were involuntarily committed (not guilty by reason of insanity) for serious crimes, had no obvious Axis I disorders. It painted a different picture of the “psycho criminal ” for me and I wondered about the efficacy of treating developmental (personality) disorders with pharmaceuticals. I found a place of interest and need where adult and child psychology merge.
Eilers, R. E., Wilson, W. R., & Moore, J. M. (1979). Speech perception in the language-innocent and the language-wise: The perception of VOT. Journal of Child Language, 6, 11-18.
Eilers, R. E., Gavin, W. J., & Wilson, W. R. (1979). Linguistic experience and phonemic perception in infancy: A crosslinguistic study. Child Development, 50, 14-18.
Eilers, R. E., Oller, D. K., & Benito Garcia, C. R. (1984). The acquisition of voicing contrasts in Spanish and English learning infants and children: A longitudinal study. Journal of Child Language, 11, 313-336.
Eilers, R. E., ÷zdamar, ÷., Oller, D. K., Miskiel, E., &Urbano, R. (1988). Similarities between tactual and auditory speech perception. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 31, 124-131.
Eilers, R. E., Oller, D. K., Levine, S., Basinger, D., Lynch, M. P., & Urbano, R. (1993). The role of prematurity and socioeconomic status in the onset of canonical babbling in infants. Infant Behavior and Development, 16, 297-315.
Language and Literacy in Bilingual Children, Oller D.K., and Eilers R.E., (editors).Multilingual Matters, Sydney, 2002.
Eilers, R. E., & Berlin, C. (1995). Advances in early detection of hearing loss in infants. Current Problems in Pediatrics, 25, 60-66.