Philip Lai, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Graduate Program Chair

Office: COE B141   |    Phone: (308) 865-8306   |    Email:

Philip Lai, Ph.D.


Dr. Lai received his doctorate from the Joint Doctoral Program in Language and Communicative Disorders at San Diego State University/University of California San Diego (2015). Dr. Lai received his Master's degree in Psychology from San Diego State University (2009) and his Bachelor's degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California San Diego (2005). Before coming to the University of Nebraska Kearney, Dr. Lai was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2017).

Teaching Areas

Dr. Lai teaches courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Courses include preschool language disorders, typical language development, senior seminar on multiculturalism, neurological foundations, and graduate seminar on autism.


Dr. Lai conducts research in the areas of social development, executive function, and cognitive development in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Specifically, Dr. Lai investigates both verbal as well as nonverbal communication during social interactions in various populations.

Professional Memberships

Nebraska Academy of Sciences
Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research
Association for Psychological Science
Cognitive Neuroscience Society
Society for Neuroscience