Anne-Warlaumont-226x300CIS faculty Dr. Anne Warlaumont was featured this week on The Academic Minute, a public science radio show that features high-impact scientific research, and airs on WAMC Public Radio in New York State. You can listen to her minute by clicking here. Dr. Warlaumont has recently used automated algorithms to analyze over ten thousand hours of infant-caregiver interaction to discern how they influence each other, and how this influence may be disrupted in children with autism. The results suggest an important “social feedback loop” which may be part of language learning. A segment of Dr. Warlaumont’s description of her research is presented here:

We discovered that adults are more likely to immediately respond to children when the child’s sounds are speech-related. In turn, a child is more likely to produce one of these more mature sound sound types if her most recent such sound got a response. We argue that these moment-to-moment interactions add up over the millions of exchanges children experience during the first few years of life, resulting in substantial differences in the maturity of the sounds kids produce by the time they are four years old.