Science Spotlight Autumn 2022
How perceived emotions impact toddlers' word learning
In everyday life, young language learners observe their caregivers display a wide range of emotional expressions. You may notice a change in your baby's attention when speaking in a happy or sad voice, or when making funny faces. In a recently published study, Shirly Ma and colleagues from LuCiD have shown that new words can be learned regardless of what emotional expressions we display. However among emotionally neutral, happy, or disgusted context, it’s emotionally negative expressions and the information associated with them that grab toddlers' attention most. Please read Shirly's recent blog to find out more or read the published article in SRCD.
Are lockdown babies behind on communication milestones?
Language research suggests that babies born during lockdown meet some language and communication milestones later. Coming into contact with fewer people and parental work responsibilities while caring for their babies could explain this delay. Katie Alcock (Lancaster University) recently published an article in The Conversation and suggests talking to your toddler as much as possible will support language development even though parents from different cultures talk to their babies in different ways.
Complex sentences: from comprehension to production
Understanding complex sentences that convey temporal and causal relations is critical to children's learning and academic success. In Phase One of LuCiD, our researchers have explored some of the factors influencing children’s understanding of complex sentences. In our current project (LuCiD Phase Two), we now aim to determine the extent to which the factors that underpin comprehension also apply to the more demanding task of complex sentence production. Find out more about our current project and how to get involved if you are a parent of a 3-5-year old in Shijie Zhang's recent blog post.