Babies' Brains Show Social Skills Linked to Second Language Learning
[Source Science Daily]
New findings by researchers at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington demonstrate for the first time that an early social behavior called gaze shifting is linked to infants’ ability to learn new language sounds.
Babies about 10 months old who engaged in more gaze shifting during sessions with a foreign language tutor showed a boost in a brain response that indicates language learning, according to the study, which is published in the current issue of Developmental Neuropsychology.
“Our study provides evidence that infants’ social skills play a role in cracking the code of the new language,” said co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of I-LABS.
“We found that the degree to which infants visually tracked the tutors and the toys they held was linked to brain measures of infant learning, showing that social behaviors give helpful information to babies in a complex natural language learning situation,” Kuhl said.
Gaze shifting, when a baby makes eye contact and then looks at the same object that the other person is looking at, is one of the earliest social skills that babies show.
“These moments of shared visual attention develop as babies interact with their parents, and they change the baby’s brain,” said co-author Rechele Brooks, research assistant professor at I-LABS.
Read the Rest of this Article on Science Daily
PediaStaff is Hiring!All Jobs
PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.