Carnegie Mellon University

Chisom Obasih

Chisom Obasih

Education: BS, University of Pittsburgh, Neuroscience; BA, University of Pittsburgh, Japanese


I am a graduate student in the Second Language Acquisition PhD program in Modern Languages, working in the Language Processing and Pedagogy (LAPP) Lab under Dr. Seth Wiener. I originally started my graduate education at CMU's Department of Psychology, working towards a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience in the Holt Lab under Dr. Lori Holt. Under both Dr. Wiener and Dr. Holt, I study the role of auditory category learning in the acquisition of non-native speech sound categories by adult human listeners. With the assumption that speech processing uses general auditory processing mechanisms, I research the auditory processing of non-speech, native speech, and non-native speech sounds. Investigating general auditory mechanisms, such as auditory selective attention, in the processing of non-speech and native speech sounds allows me to gain insights and learn from a controlled experimental environment that can then be translated and tested in more ecological, real-world contexts in which listeners perceive non-native speech sounds. In this way, I am interested in bridging basic auditory cognitive research to applied linguistics research. I plan to use my research to learn how to take advantage of the cognitive processes involved in auditory category learning to create training methods and learning environments that will make language learning easier for adults. I am conversationally fluent in Japanese and like to use Japanese as a model language in my research.

  • Psycholinguistics
  • Second-language acquisition
  • Auditory cognitive neuroscience
  • Auditory category learning
  • Speech perception
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellow
  • Psychology Department Graduate Student Outreach Program

Obasih, C. O., Luthra, S., Dick, F., & Holt, L. L. (2023). Auditory category learning is robust across training regimes. Cognition, 237, 105467. 

Jasmin, K., Tierney, A., Obasih, C., & Holt, L. (2023). Short-term perceptual reweighting in suprasegmental categorization. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 30(1), 373–382. 

Department Member Since 2023