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Pronouns: he/him


Lyles-Porter Hall 3053
715 Clinic Dr.

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Alexander Francis

Professor, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Courtesy Appointments

Department of Psychological Sciences; Department of Linguistics

Areas of Expertise

  • Speech Perception
  • Attention
  • Listening Effort
  • Psychophysiology
  • Aging
  • Balance and Vestibular Function
  • Noise sensitivity and annoyance

HHS Signature Research Area(s)

  • Healthy Lifestyles and Vital Longevity

Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Research Area(s)

  • Hearing Science; Hearing Disorders


I am currently a professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Purdue University. I earned my B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991, completing one semester of study in Allgemeine und Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. I did my graduate work at the University of Chicago, earning an M.A. in Linguistics in 1993 and a dual Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Linguistics in 1999. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, and have been at Purdue since 2002.

My research focuses on the use of psychophysiological measures to assess cognitive engagement and affective responses related to effortful listening, especially under adverse conditions and in older listeners with and without hearing impairment. The central thesis of my broader research program is that challenges to listening, whether due to unwanted sound or to difficulties assessing the auditory environment, increase demand on central processing mechanisms such as attention and working memory with both short- and long-term impact on health and well-being. Results of my work will serve to better guide research and development of effective policy, workplace design, and clinical interventions for individuals with hearing impairment, sensitivity to noise, and/or who work or live in noisy environments.


  • PhD, 1999, University of Chicago
  • MA, 1993, University of Chicago
  • BA, 1991, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Social Media Accounts

Current Courses

  • SLHS 13000 - Perception, Action, And Cognition In The Speech, Language, And Hearing Sciences
  • SLHS 30600 - Introduction to Phonetics

Selected Honors/Awards

  • Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America - 2020
  • Fellow of the Psychonomic Society - 2006

Selected Grants

  • Primary Investigator, Listening demand, balance, and fall risk in older adults, Clifford B. Kinley Trust, with Shirley Rietdyk, Jeffrey Haddad, Sharon Christ, and Melissa Newell. Period:05/01/2022 - 04/30-2023. Total: $24,767
  • Co-Investigator (with Melissa M. Franks), Social Context and Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss, Healthy Lifestyles and Vital Longevity (HLVL): Synergistic Connections Between Life and Social Sciences award. Period: December/1/2023 – November/30/2024. Total: $9,994

Professional Affiliations

  • Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
  • American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR)
  • Psychonomic Society
  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP)