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Production Task

All research in our lab that investigates production abilities is conducted in our castle sound booth.  In the castle, babies are recorded in spontaneous play sessions or they hear sentences accompanied by cartoons, which they are asked to repeat.  At all times, parents are with their babies.  Production studies take between 15 minutes to one hour to complete.

babySmile

Headturn Preference Procedure

Babies sit on their parent’s lap in a booth that has three lights; one in front, and two on either side. We use the flashing lights to attract the baby's attention.  Once they are looking to one side, we play a sound sample. The sound sample plays as long as the baby is looking at the flashing light.  When they turn away, we attract their attention to the other side of the booth and play another sound file. A video camera records the baby's face to determine how much time her gaze is fixated on the flashing light.  These looking time measures provide information about children's sensitivity to speech stimuli. This listening task takes about 5 minutes to complete.

DSCN0075Visual Fixation Procedure

Babies sit on their parent’s lap in front of a TV monitor on which various images are presented. First, the baby’s attention is drawn to the screen with a visual display (e.g. with a flashing red light). Once the baby is looking at the TV monitor, another image (e.g. a picture of a boy with five balloons) is presented on the TV monitor accompanied by audio speech stimuli (e.g. Look, he has balloons!). The audio speech stimuli plays as long as the baby is looking at the screen.  A video camera records the baby’s face to determine how much time her gaze is fixated on combinations of video and audio displays. These looking time measures provide information about children’s sensitivity to speech stimuli. This listening task typically takes about 5 minutes.