James T. Heaton

James T. Heaton, PhD

Adjunct Professor

Massachusetts General Hospital
Communication Sciences and Disorders

James T. Heaton received a BA degree in Psychology from Luther College (Decorah, IA) in 1990, and the MS and PhD degrees in Psychology (Neuroscience and Cognitive Science program) from the University of Maryland (College Park, MD) in 1993 and 1997, respectively.

He joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1997 in the Department of Otology and Laryngology, and he is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at MGH Institute, where he teaches neuroanatomy/neurophysiology.

Dr. Heaton’s work in the past 2 decades have involved the development of novel surgical and research instruments, bench-top testing of excised tissues, mathematical modeling of physiological processes, development of animal models for human disease states, and investigations of laryngeal physiology and neuromuscular control of communication in human research participants.

Research Interests
  • Human voice and speech physiology
  • Facial and laryngeal nerve regeneration
  • Development of improved voice prosthetic equipment
  • Creation of a speech recognition platform that uses speech-related muscle signals as an input (instead of a microphone) for healthy and dysarthric populations
  • Implantable neural prosthetic systems for facial and laryngeal reanimation after nerve palsy


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