Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
Gordon Ramsay, PhD, completed his doctorate in electronics and electrical engineering at the University of Southampton in England, and received a master’s in speech and language processing from Cambridge University after undergraduate studies in engineering. He was a Marie Curie research fellow at the Institut de la Communication Parlée in Grenoble, France, for two years and also worked at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.
Dr. Ramsay has held visiting positions at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Before coming to Emory University School of Medicine and Marcus Autism Center, he was an associate research scientist in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) program led by Ami Klin, PhD, at the Yale Child Study Center, a fellow of Saybrook College at Yale University and senior scientist at Haskins Laboratories. At Marcus Autism Center, Dr. Ramsay directs the Spoken Communication Laboratory.
As part of the research team, he is a principal investigator and director of data analysis and management for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Autism Center of Excellence grant, exploring the development of new vocal biomarkers for autism in the first year of life, as well as new mathematical techniques and technologies for measuring infant development. Dr. Ramsay’s research focuses on mathematical models of speech production and perception used for speech analysis, synthesis and recognition, which he is applying to developmental profiling of vocal behavior, spoken communication and social interaction in infants at risk for autism.
His research helps show how early emerging mechanisms of social engagement are potentially derailed in autism in the first year of life and explains how this impacts the development of speech and language. This will eventually lead to evidence-based technologies for early detection and intervention to address the social communication deficit in autism.
- Rodríguez-Saltos, C. A., Bhise, A., Karur, P., Khan, R. N., Lee, S., Ramsay, G. & Maney, D. L. (2023). Song preferences predict the quality of vocal learning in zebra finches. Scientific Reports 13(1):605.
- Long, H. L., Ramsay, G., Griebel, U., Bene, E. R., Bowman, D. D., Burkhardt-Reed, M. M. & Oller, D. K. (2022). Perspectives on the origin of language: Infants vocalize most during independent vocal play but produce their most speech-like vocalizations during turn taking. PLoS One 17(12):e0279395.
- Oller, D. K., Ramsay, G., Bene, E., Long, H. L. & Griebel, U. (2021). Speech-like sounds dominate the human infant vocal landscape. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 30(10):426-427.
- Gipson, T., T., Ramsay, G., Ellison, E., Bene, E., Long, H. L. & Oller, D. K. (2021). Early vocal development in tuberous sclerosis complex. Pediatric Neurology 125:48-52.
- Oller, D. K., Griebel, U., Bowman, D., Bene, E. R., Long, H. L., Yoo, H. & Ramsay, G., (2020). “Infant boys found to be more vocal than infant girls,” Current Biology 30:R417- R429.
- Ramsay, G. J. (2019). Mechanical speech synthesis in early talking automata, Acoustics Today 15(2):11-19 (also selected for republication in special edition of Acoustics Today for the International Year of Sound in 2020).
- Fleurissaint, R-M, Bailey, J., Ghai, S., & Ramsay, G. (2017). Early developmental trajectories of social contingency predict language outcome in toddlers with ASD. IMFAR 2017.
- Ghai, S., & Ramsay, G. (2017). Physiological measurements of voice quality in children with autism Using electroglottography in relation to clinical assessment outcome. IMFAR 2017.
- Ghai, S., Bailey, J., & Ramsay, G. (2017). Early language development as a function of prosodic interactions in bilingual infants. The 2017 SRCD Biennial Meeting.
- Bailey, J., Ghai, S., & Ramsay, G. (2016). Developmental progressions in the harmonic structure of infant-directed speech. Poster presented at the 5th Joint Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Acoustical Society of Japan.
- Ramsay, G., Bailey, J., & Ghai, S. (2016). Developmental cascades in early social interaction: Vocal biomarkers of risk for autism in the first two years of life. The 2016 International Conference on Infant Studies.
- Ghai, S., & Ramsay, G. (2015). Longitudinal profiling of prosodic variation in maternal speech for infants at risk of autism. The 2015 SRCD Biennial Meeting.
- Ramsay, G., Ghai, S., & Klin, A. (2015). Early development of prosodic interactions in infants at risk of autism. The 2015 SRCD Biennial Meeting.
- Stern, Y., Ghai, S., Klin, A., & Ramsay, G. (2014). Emergence of social engagement in infants at high and low risk for ASD as indexed by cry. IMFAR 2014.
- Ramsay, G. (2018, March 19). The science of ‘motherese’–early vocal development in infants and caregivers. Presented at the Atlanta Science Festival, Atlanta, GA.
- Ramsay, G. (2017, November 17).Vocal biomarkers: from physics to diagnosis? TEDx Talk.
- Ramsay, G. (2017, September 25). Vocal biomarkers as treatment response and outcome measures for children with ASD. Presented at Roche Pharmaceutical, Basel, Switzerland.
- Ramsay, G. (2017, May 18). Social neuroscience and the nature and origin of religious experience: Lessons and non-lessons from autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Presented as Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture 2017 Summer Workshop: Social Cognition, Autism, and Religiosity, Atlanta, GA.
- Ramsay, G. (2017, March 27). Quantifying developmental pathways to social communication in infants at risk of ASD. Presented as NIH Workshop: Biometrics and Beyond, Bethesda, MD.
- Ramsay, G. (2016, September 25). Getting kids to talk: early vocal development and its derailment in ASD. Presented at the Seaver Center 20th Annual Advances in Autism Conference, New York, NY.
- Ramsay, G. (2016, September 22). Every child needs a voice: developmental pathways to spoken language in infants at risk for ASD. Presented at the Thompson Center 11th Annual Autism Conference, St. Louis, MO.
- Ramsay, G. (2015, September 25). Getting kids to talk: early vocal development and its derailment in ASD. Presented at the Thompson Center 10th Annual Autism Conference, St. Louis, MO.
- Ramsay, G. (2015, April 29). The Marcus Autism Center: An NIH Autism Center of Excellence. Presented at King Salman Center for Disability Research, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- Ramsay, G. (2014, October 7). Developmental trajectories as outcome measures: Growth charts of vocal development in autism. Presented as SFARI Workshop: Improving Clinical Trial Outcome Measures in ASD, New York, NY.
- Ramsay, G. (2014, July 12). Early vocal development and its derailment in autism. Presented at Atlanta Science Tavern, Atlanta, GA.
- Interviewed by Georgia Public Broadcasting about early speech development (broadcast July 2, 2014).
- Interviewed by CNN about Kuhl, Ramirez, Bosseler, Lin, and Imada (2013) in PNAS (broadcast July 15, 2014).
- Interviewed by WebMD about ACE Project 2 and the Marcus Autism Center Vocal Database
- “Can early intervention prevent autism?”. Interviewed by PBS/Nova about early vocal development (interview April 23, 2015).
- “The social network: How everyday interactions shape autism”. Interviewed by SFARI to comment on early caregiver interactions in autism, March 23, 2015. Subsequently featured in The Guardian, UK.
- “Altered voices". Interviewed by Discover Magazine about ACE Project 2 and the Marcus Autism Center Vocal Database (published May 2015).
- “Baby talk: how babbling can point to signs of autism”. Live interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting about speech development in autism (broadcast April 27, 2016).
- “Your baby isn’t as clever as you think”. Interviewed by STAT to comment on a new study examining neonatal imitation, May 5, 2016.
- “Is too much folic acid during pregnancy a contributor to autism?” Interviewed by STAT to comment on a new study linking prenatal exposure to autism, May 11, 2016.
- “Rapid brain growth in infancy may signal autism.” Interviewed by Spectrum to comment on Nature paper, Feb. 17, 2017.
- “Parents’ interactions with infants may alleviate autism features.” Interviewed by Spectrum to comment on J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry paper, June 12, 2017.