Babies May Understand How Words Relate Infants as young as 6 months old can recognize similarities between different words, according to a new study. This same study also found that the more often babies heard words spoken in their presence, the greater their comprehension of those words. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ... Research in Brief
Free
Research in Brief  |   February 01, 2018
Babies May Understand How Words Relate
Author Notes
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Professional Issues & Training / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   February 01, 2018
Babies May Understand How Words Relate
The ASHA Leader, February 2018, Vol. 23, 18. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.23022018.18
The ASHA Leader, February 2018, Vol. 23, 18. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.23022018.18
Infants as young as 6 months old can recognize similarities between different words, according to a new study. This same study also found that the more often babies heard words spoken in their presence, the greater their comprehension of those words.
Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study included 51 infants (6 to 9 months old), who were tested at home and in the lab.
In the lab, researchers used eye-tracking software to measure word comprehension. The researchers instructed babies’ caregivers to name images shown on a computer screen, while the eye tracker recorded babies’ gazes.

The more often babies heard words spoken in their presence, the greater their comprehension of those words.

Researchers found that when two words were related (such as “nose” and “mouth”), the infants spent more time looking at the wrong image spoken. However, when two distinct common objects were shown and one named (such as “car” and “juice”), infants gazed more at the correct picture.
For the in-home portion, caregivers received a baby vest containing a small audio recorder for daily use and infant hats equipped with video recorders for one-hour visual segments of caregiver-infant interaction. When parents showed the baby an object and named it, researchers found this contributed to the baby’s performance of the in-lab task.
“It turned out that the proportion of the time that parents talked about something when it was actually there to be seen and learned from correlated with the babies’ overall comprehension,” says lead author Elika Bergelson, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
February 2018
Volume 23, Issue 2