Portrait Photograph of Maryellen MacDonald

Maryellen MacDonald


Department of Psychology

Hometown: Beaumont, TX

Dr. Maryellen MacDonald is an expert on how we talk and how we comprehend language. Dr. MacDonald studied how language changes as we age and in Alzheimer’s disease, and also how children’s reading is related to their talking. Dr. MacDonald received their PhD. in Psychology from UCLA.


Talking and the Aging Brain
We all age, and we all lose a bit of our edge as we age. Dr. MacDonald will talk about how talking changes as we age, and how we can use talking and related language games to keep our brains as sharp as possible.
Talking and Learning to Read
Kids are often told not to talk in school, but talking can boost children’s learning in some situations. Dr. MacDonald will explain how and also describe the link between talking and reading, including how parents’ own talking can help kids learn to read.
Talk is NOT Cheap!
When we say someone is “all talk and no action” we’re thinking of talking as a poor substitute for getting something done. But talking can lead to better actions, better planning, better focus. Dr. MacDonald will explain how we can harness our own talk to better meet our goals.