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Welcome to the Speech Development Lab!

Welcome to the web page of the SDL!

Our research focuses on describing and understanding the initial steps in infancy that begin the language acquisition process. We study infants from birth up to five years of age to explore children's early language preferences and how these preferences change and evolve throughout their development. Our focus is primarily on how infants perceive speech sounds and learn about words. We also study adults on occasion to explore whether similar developmental patterns can be observed when learning a second language.

To address these questions we present infants with different types of language and non-language stimuli, usually accompanied by pictures, and record their looking, reaching, pointing, or heart rate. We examine not only what infants perceive but also how parents talk to their infants and how this affects development of an individual's sound system. We hope to apply our knowledge of typical development to populations of infants at risk for a language delay, in order to provide better information for eventual intervention and remediation.

This work is all made possible through a devoted group of researchers, generous funding, and the continued support and participation of parents and infants.