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Deryk Beal

Deryk Beal, PhD, Reg. CASLPO, CCC-SLP

Clinician Scientist, Speech-Language Pathologist

Visit the CONNECT Lab



Research Focus:

Dr. Deryk Beal specializes in the study of paediatric communication and its disorders and heads up the CONNECT Lab. His research program aims to understand the neurobiology of communication and to develop and evaluate new treatments for childhood brain-based speech and language disorders. To accomplish these aims, the researchers use tools such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG), functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNRIS), transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Dr. Beal partners with health-care practitioners, researchers, clients and their families for the purpose of accelerating our understanding of the best rehabilitation practices for the developing brain. Please see the CONNECT Lab research page for current and upcoming projects.

Research/Trainee/Volunteer Opportunities:

Prospective postdoctoral fellows, PhD, and MSc trainees hoping to train with Dr. Beal should familiarize themselves with current CONNECT Lab projects and his published works (click on Publications) as well as the training program at the University of TorontoNote that there are two application deadlines for doctoral and masters programs: February 1 and June 1.

Interested trainees may send an email to Dr. Beal that includes their curriculum vitae, unofficial transcripts and their reasons for wanting to train in the CONNECT Lab. Undergraduate trainees hoping to join the CONNECT Lab are encouraged to apply for a paid summer internship with Dr. Beal via the Ward Family Summer Student Research Program.

Volunteer trainee opportunities are limited. However, if you are passionate about the neurobiology of language, cognitive neuroscience, neuromodulation and neurorehabilitation we would love to hear from you. Previous research experience and proficiency in computer programming languages such as Python, Matlab and R are an asset but not a requirement.

Education & Profession


2010-12    Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

2005-10    PhD, University of Toronto, Collaborative Program in Neuroscience and Speech-Language Pathology

1998-00    MHSc, University of Toronto, Speech-Language Pathology

1994-98    BA Hon, University of Western Ontario, Psychology & Linguistics (with distinction)

Professional Memberships:

College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO)

Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences (ANCDS)

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

University Positions / Affiliations:

Assistant Professor, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Faculty Member, Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Faculty Member, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), University of Toronto

Faculty member, Collaborative Program in Neuroscience, University of Torotno

Current Projects


Cermak, C. A., Scratch, S. E., Reed, N. P., Bradley, K., Quinn de Launay, K. & Beal, D. S. (2018). Cognitive communication deficits in children with traumatic brain injury: A scoping review. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

Sherman, V., Greco, E., Mahendranath, M., Beal, D., Thorpe, K. & Martino, R. (2018). Feeding and Swallowing Impairment in Children with Stroke and Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review.Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.

Smithson, L., Baird, T., Sukhpreet, T., Lau, A., Mariasine, J., Chikuma, J., Lefebvre, D. L., Subbarao, P., Becker, A. B., Turvey, S. E., Sears, M. R., the CHILD Study Investigators, Beal, D. S., Pei, J., Mandhane, P. J. (2018). Shorter sleep duration is associated with reduced cognitive development at 2 years of age.Sleep Medicine.48: 131-129.

Misaghi E., Zhang Z., Gracco V.L., De Nil L.F., Beal D.S. (2018). White matter tractography of the neural network for speech-motor control in children who stutter. Neuroscience Letters. 668: 37-42.

Jackson, E., Tiede, M., Beal, D., & Whalen. (2016). The Impact of Social–Cognitive Stress on Speech Variability, Determinism, and Stability in Adults Who Do and Do Not Stutter. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 59(6), 1295–1314. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0145

Sitek, K. R., Cai, S., Beal, D. S., Perkell, J. S., Guenther, F. & Ghosh, S. S. (2016). Decreased cerebellar-orbitofrontal connectivity correlates with stuttering severity: Whole-brain functional and structural connectivity associations with persistent developmental stuttering. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00190.

Beal, D. S., Lerch, J. P., Cameron, B., Henderson, R., Gracco, V. & De Nil, L.F. (2015). The trajectory of gray matter development in Broca’s area is abnormal in people who stutter. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00089 *>4,500 views & downloads; The article is ranked in the 99%ile of all articles tracked by Altmetric.

Segawa, J. A., Tourville, J. A., Beal, D.S., & Guenther, F. H. (2015). Speech motor sequence learning is mediated by a frontal-temporal auditory-motor network. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(4), 819-831. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00737

Cai, S., Beal, D. S., Ghosh, S. S., Guenther, F. H., & Perkell, J. S. (2014). Impaired timing adjustments in response to time-varying auditory perturbation during connected speech production in persons who stutter. Brain and Language129C, 24-29. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2014.01.00 

Cai, S., Tourville, J. A., Beal, D. S., Perkell, J. S., Guenther, F. H., & Ghosh, S. S. (2014). Diffusion imaging of cerebral white matter in persons who stutter: Evidence for network-level anomalies. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience8. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.0005

Beal, D. S., Gracco, V. L., Brettschneider, J., Kroll, R. M., & De Nil, L. F. (2013). A voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of regional grey and white matter volume abnormalities within the speech production network of children who stutter. Cortex, 49(8), 2151-2161. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.08.013

Cai, S., Beal, D. S., Ghosh, S. S., Tiede, M. K., Guenther, F. H., & Perkell, J. S. (2012). Weak responses to auditory feedback perturbation during articulation in persons who stutter: Evidence for abnormal auditory-motor transformation. PloS One, 7(7), e41830. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041830

Beal, D. S., Quraan, M. A., Cheyne, D. O., Taylor, M. J., Gracco, V. L., & De Nil, L. F. (2011). Speech-induced suppression of evoked auditory fields in children who stutter. NeuroImage54(4), 2994-3003. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.11.026

Beal, D. S. (2011). The advancement of neuroimaging research investigating developmental stuttering. Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders21(3), 88-95. doi:10.1044/ffd21.3.88

Beal, D. S., Cheyne, D. O., Gracco, V. L., Quraan, M. A., Taylor, M. J., & De Nil, L. F. (2010). Auditory evoked fields to vocalization during passive listening and active generation in adults who stutter. NeuroImage52(4), 1645-53. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.04.277

De Nil, L. F., Beal, D. S., Lafaille, S. J., Kroll, R. M., Crawley, A. P., & Gracco, V. L. (2008). The effects of simulated stuttering and prolonged speech on the neural activation patterns of stuttering and nonstuttering adults. Brain and Language107(2), 114-23. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2008.07.003

Beal, D. S., Gracco, V. L., Lafaille, S. J., & De Nil, L. F. (2007). Voxel-based morphometry of auditory and speech-related cortex in stutterers. Neuroreport18(12), 1257-60. doi:10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282202c4d

Bartlett, D. J., Macnab, J., Macarthur, C., Mandich, A., Magill-Evans, J., Young, N. L., Beal, D., & Polatajko, H. J. (2006). Advancing rehabilitation research: An interactionist perspective to guide question and design. Disability and Rehabilitation28(19), 1169-76. doi:10.1080/09638280600551567

Book Chapters:

De Nil, L. F. & Beal, D.S. (2015). Brain imaging studies of developmental stuttering: A review. In Bahr, R.H. & Silliman, E.R. (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Communication Disorders. London: Routledge.

Bouffet, E., McGee, P., Beal, D. (2004). Pediatric Neurology. In R. Voltz et al. (Eds.), Palliative care in neurology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Beal, D., Mabbott, D. & Bouffet, E. (2003). Speech, language and hearing difficulties. In N. Keene (Ed.), Educating the child with cancer: A guide for parents and teachers. New York: Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Contact Info

Contact Information:

Bloorview Research Institute
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital 
150 Kilgour Road Toronto, Ontario M4G 1R8 
Tel: 416-425-6220, extension 3582

Contact Email: