Infant and Toddler Language Laboratory

Read the Information for Families Considering Participation

Focus of Lab

This laboratory investigates the process of language development in the first year of life with special attention to the interaction between perception and production. Our work concentrates on how the infant's own individual experience affects language learning. In the same way that the onset of reaching makes the idea of distance more real to the infant, the onset of babbling makes adult speech more accessible. For example, as the infant begins to concentrate on specific sounds in babble, those sounds become more noticeable to the infant in the adult speech stream.

Recent work has concentrated on using the expertise acquired from working with families over the past twenty years to develop methods to facilitate language development in populations that have historically underachieved in language. For example, we are working with home health visitors and pediatricians to document early language development in low socioeconomic families and using these efforts to develop language interventions for at risk infants.

The laboratory has an impressive array of tools available to study language including eye tracking, pupilometry, fNIRS, Event Related Potentials, and preferential looking paradigms.


rory depaolis shiree harbick

Current Projects

collage of photos from the lab