I completed my Bachelor's and M.Phil. (Linguistics) degrees in India and later joined School of Communication Sciences & Disorders, McGill University for my PhD. I am interested in the investigation of the neural networks and the cognitive processes associated with the processing of emotional prosody. For my PhD dissertation (Processing of vocal cues to emotion: A psycholinguistic and neurocognitive perspective), I investigated how pitch and duration contribute to the perception of discrete emotions in speech, using acoustic-perceptual, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging techniques. Also, I conducted acoustic studies of the interaction between emotional prosody and phonemic tone in Punjabi, and published a study of how patients with Parkinson's disease process emotional prosody in implicit and explicit contexts. Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow in Johns Hopkins University working with Dr. Argye Hillis. I have further extended my research on how emotional prosody is processed by different patient populations, like frontotemporal dementia and stroke patients in acute stage.
Dara, C., Kirsch-Darrow, L., Ochfeld, E., Agranovich, A., Faria, A.V., Ross, E., Hillis, A.E. & Kortte, K. (in press) Impaired emotion processing from vocal and facial cues in frontotemporal dementia compared to right hemisphere stroke. Neurocase.
Davis, C., Dara, C., Newhart, M., Ochfeld, E., Khurshid, S., Molitoris, J.J., Ross, E., & Hillis, A.E. (In review). Is That so? Areas of acute right hemisphere ischemia associated with impaired comprehension of attitudinal prosody.
Dara, C. & Pell, M.D. (In review). Influence of pitch and speech rate manipulation on vocal emotion recognition.
Pell, M.D., Paulmann, S., Dara, C., Alasseri, A., & Kotz, S. (2009). Factors in the recognition of vocally expressed emotions: a comparison of four languages. Journal of Phonetics, 37, 417-435.
Dara, C., Monetta, L. & Pell, M.D. (2008). Vocal emotion processing in Parkinson’s disease: reduced sensitivity to negative emotions. Brain Research, 1188, 100-111.
Dara, C. & Pell, M.D. (In preparation). Influence of emotion and speech acts on production of Punjabi lexical tones.
Conference presentation with refereed abstracts
Dara, C. Pawlak, M., Davis, C., Newhart, M., Ross, E., Hillis, A.E. (April, 2010). Neuroanatomical correlates for recognition of emotions from prosodic cues: voxel-based lesion mapping evidence from acute stroke patients. American Academy of Neurology, Hawaii, USA
Dara, C., Kortte, K., Davis, C., Newhart, M., Hillis, A.E. (Oct 2011). Nonverbal emotion communication in patients with frontotemporal dementia: A case study. Academy of Aphasia, Montreal, Canada
Dara, C. & Pell, M.D. (Oct, 2008). Effects of acoustic cue manipulations on emotional prosody recognition. Acoustical Society of America, Miami, USA
Pell, M.D., Paulmann, S., Dara, C., Alasseri, A. & Kotz, S. (Oct, 2008). Similarities in the acoustic expression of emotions in English, German, Hindi, and Arabic. Acoustical Society of America, Miami, USA.
Dara, C. & Pell, M.D. (Sept, 2008). The effect of emotion and speech acts on Punjabi lexical tones. Third Conference on Tone and Intonation – TIE3. Portugal, Lisbon
Pell, M.D. & Dara, C. (May, 2007). Explicit and implicit detection of vocal emotions by adults with Parkinson’s disease. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, New York, USA.
Dara, C., Monetta, L. & Pell, M.D. (May, 2007). Sensitivity to affective dimensions of emotional prosody in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, New York, USA.
Dara, C. & Pell, M.D. (2006). The effects of right-hemisphere damage on explicit and implicit processing of emotional prosody. Academy of Aphasia, Victoria, British Columbia. (Brain and Language, 99 (1), 51-52.)
Dara, C. & Pell, M.D. (2006). The interaction of linguistic and affective prosody in a tone language. Acoustical Society of America, Providence, USA.
& Pell, M.D. (2005). Production of tonal contrasts in Punjabi by brain damaged subjects. TENNET XVI, Montréal, Québec.(Brain and Cognition, 60(3), 307.)