Researchers Determine Mothers Orchestrate Infant Attention to Teach New Words
News Jul 13, 2014
Using eye tracking technology, researchers at Ithaca College and UCLA and have found that gestures mothers use in teaching their infants new words are vital for infant word learning. The findings were presented in Berlin, Germany, at the biennial conference sponsored by the International Society on Infant Studies (ISIS).
Nancy Rader, professor of psychology at Ithaca College, and Patricia Zukow-Goldring, research scholar at UCLA, report that mothers' gestures direct infant attention in such a way that infants look directly at the relevant object as the word for it is introduced. They found by measuring the child's pupil diameter that the gesture also results in enhanced arousal and better attention just at the time the infant views the object and hears the word for it.
The result? Babies 9 to 15 months of age learn a new word significantly better when the gesture is used than without it.
Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Psychiatrists diagnose people with mental illnesses by spending time with them, looking for the particular behavior symptoms of each. By deciphering the circuitry of the medial frontal cortex – an area beneath the top of the head — those diagnoses could become much more efficient and precise by allowing physicians to diagnose based on how neurons respond to a simple series of behavior tests.READ MORE