Dr Celine De Looze

Dr Celine De Looze

Employed by Trinity College Dublin

Mentors: Professor Richard Reilly with Professor Brian Lawlor

Dr Céline De Looze is a phonetician by training, with expertise in speech prosody, discourse and dialogue. She completed her PhD in 2010 at the Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Aix-Marseille University in France on the thesis Analysis and interpretation of the temporal span of prosodic variations in French and in English. Afterwards she worked as a research fellow carrying out prosodic analyses on Parkinson speech, a project funded by the French National Research Agency. Céline has just completed post-doctoral research on the Science Foundation Ireland-funded FASTNET project (Focus on Actions in Social Talk: Network-Enabling Technology) at the Phonetics and Speech Laboratory, TCD, where she specialised in signal social processing. She has worked at the interface between academia and entrepreneurship e.g. at CrewFactors Ltd which has a patent pending for communications training to airline staff. Céline has presented her research findings at international conferences in ten different countries, as well as contributing to journal articles.

During her CARDI Fellowship Céline will study mild cognitive impairment and psychosocial outcomes by characterising interpersonal communications between older people and carers. The research will evaluate verbal and non-verbal communication between people with mild cognitive impairment and carers. This will seek to provide a detailed characterisation of communication strategies; determine whether the ability of the person with MCI can be used as a marker of MCI; and evaluate the impact of carers’ communication strategies on the quality of interaction and on the mental state of older people and carers.

The research is based on the premise that the older person may have difficulties in communicating due, for example, to aphasia or apathy and that the carer’s communication strategy may affect the patient’s self-esteem and result in social withdrawal or depression. The project will contribute to more objective, non-invasive evaluations of MCI which are both time and cost effective. It also has the potential to offer evidence-based care practices to support older people with MCI and their carers.