Babies Who Hear Their Own Babbling May Babble More Babies who babble do so primarily because of their ability to hear their own speech, a new study suggests. Babbling—consonant-vowel repetitions like “dada” or “baba”—is common among 8-month-olds, but infants who have profound hearing loss rarely make these sounds, says University of Missouri (MU) researcher Mary Fagan. But when infants ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   February 01, 2016
Babies Who Hear Their Own Babbling May Babble More
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Development / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   February 01, 2016
Babies Who Hear Their Own Babbling May Babble More
The ASHA Leader, February 2016, Vol. 21, 17. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.21022016.17
The ASHA Leader, February 2016, Vol. 21, 17. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.21022016.17
Babies who babble do so primarily because of their ability to hear their own speech, a new study suggests.
Babbling—consonant-vowel repetitions like “dada” or “baba”—is common among 8-month-olds, but infants who have profound hearing loss rarely make these sounds, says University of Missouri (MU) researcher Mary Fagan.
“Hearing is a critical aspect of infants’ motivation to make early sounds,” says Fagan, an assistant professor of communication science and disorders in the MU School of Health Professions. “The fact that they attend to and learn from their own behaviors, especially in speech, highlights how infants’ own experiences help their language, social and cognitive development. … They are actively engaged in their own developmental process.”

“Infants’ own experiences help their language, social and cognitive development. … They are actively engaged in their own developmental process.”

The study observed 16 infants with profound hearing loss, before and after cochlear implantation, and 27 with normal hearing. A few months after implantation, the babies produced more repetitive vocalizations, which included longer strings of syllables.
Fagan notes that her research doesn’t diminish the important input babies get from others’ speech as well.
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February 2016
Volume 21, Issue 2