HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Babies able to tell through visual cues when speakers switch languages: UBC study

At four months, babies can tell whether a speaker has switched to a different language from visual cues alone, according to a University of British Columbia study.

Researcher Whitney Weikum found that infants are able to discern when a different language is spoken by watching the shapes and rhythm of the speaker's mouth and face movements.

The findings suggest that older infants, raised in a monolingual environment, no longer need this facility. However, babies growing up in a bilingual environment advantageously maintain the discrimination abilities needed for separating and learning multiple languages.

In a paper to be published in the May 25 issue of the journal Science, Weikum explores whether babies use visual speech information to tell the difference between someone speaking their native language(s) and an unfamiliar language. Weikum is a UBC Neuroscience doctoral student working with Canada Research Chair and Psychology Prof. Janet Werker.

The researchers tested three groups of infants ages four, six and eight months from monolingual English homes and two groups of infants ages six and eight months from bilingual homes. They showed each group silent video clips of three bilingual French-English speakers, who recited sentences first in English or French, and then switched to the other language.

Their findings suggest that visual information alone will prompt the babies at four and six months to pay closer attention and watch the video for a longer period when the speakers switch languages.

"We already know that babies can tell languages apart using auditory cues," says Weikum. "But this is the first study to show that young babies are prepared to tell languages apart using only visual information."

The researchers found that six-month-old babies from both bilingual French-English and monolingual English homes could tell the languages apart visually. These groups would watch the vide
'"/>

Contact: Whitney Weikum
whitney@psych.ubc.ca
604-822-7755
University of British Columbia
24-May-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Babies born after SET do as well as those conceived naturally
2. Babies born preterm cost businesses big money: Hospital charges estimated at $7.4 billion annually
3. Babies born after surgery on eggs
4. Biologist traces coconuts history through DNA
5. 2007 EURYI: 20 young researchers to receive Nobel Prize-sized awards for breakthrough ideas
6. Major breakthrough in understanding how HIV interferes with infected cell division
7. Variant CJD -- Prion amplification breakthrough brings new insights and hopes for a blood test
8. Cloned pigs help scientists towards a breakthrough in Alzheimers
9. Critical protein prevents DNA damage from persisting through generations
10. Biotech breakthrough could end biodiesels glycerin glut
11. How memory T cells curb the spread of viruses throughout the body

Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/29/2014)... latest research from the University of Adelaide ... of many preterm children can perform almost as well as ... University,s Robinson Research Institute has found that as ... early life, their cognitive abilities as a teenager can potentially ... results of the study, published in this month,s issue of ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other purposes ... inside human cells, including those that cause Legionnaires, disease, ... mBio , the online open-access journal of the ... identifying non-antibiotic drugs that could one day help curb ... the list inhibit the growth of at least three ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... and organic compounds in hydrothermal environments are critical components ... for the deep biosphere, and may have implications for ... about how minerals influence organic reactions. A team ... a common mineral acts as a catalysts for specific ... solvents or expensive reagents. , At the heart of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Preterm children's brains can catch up years later 2New route to identify drugs that can fight bacterial infections 2Mineral magic? Common mineral capable of making and breaking bonds 2Mineral magic? Common mineral capable of making and breaking bonds 3
(Date:7/29/2014)... HOUSTON (July 29, 2014) Tough, ultralight foam ... and shape through a chemical process invented at Rice ... "GO-0.5BN" looks like a nanoscale building, with floors and ... a pair of two-dimensional materials: floors and walls of ... boron nitride platelets. , The researchers say the ...
(Date:7/29/2014)... DALLAS , July 29, 2014 ... Market Slide Scanners (Whole Slide Imaging), Analytics (Image Analysis Software), ... Storage - Global Forecasts & Trends to 2018", published ... and restraints in geographies such as North ... Asia , and the Rest of the ...
(Date:7/29/2014)... HILLS, Calif. , July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... specializing in personalized medicine, treatment of infectious diseases ... strategies of prognosis and prevention of pathologies like ... of August 1, 2014, ImmunoClin Corporation will complete ... Washington, D.C. , a key ...
(Date:7/29/2014)... 2014  Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (NASDAQ: SIAL ) ... its investment in Green Chemistry and donated more than ... year, the Company announced Monday in its new ... World? The report comes in a ... a responsible corporate citizen, including recognition for the second ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Tough foam from tiny sheets 2Digital Pathology Market worth $437 Million by 2018 2Digital Pathology Market worth $437 Million by 2018 3ImmunoClin Corporation (IMCL) Relocates Corporate Headquarters to Washington, DC 2ImmunoClin Corporation (IMCL) Relocates Corporate Headquarters to Washington, DC 3Sigma-Aldrich Achieves Record Success in Environmental, Community Initiatives 2Sigma-Aldrich Achieves Record Success in Environmental, Community Initiatives 3
Cached News: