Current Research Projects

 

INFANT VOWEL PREFERENCES

Previous studies in our lab have shown that babies can discriminate many similar vowel sounds. The discrimination patterns that we have observed across many studies have led us to propose infants have some initial perceptual biases that are the same across all infants, regardless of their language environment. The present study is designed to test this claim in a direct way by determining whether babies prefer to listen to certain vowels over others and whether their vowel preferences change as they mature and acquire more experience listening to language. If infants show the preference patterns that we predict, it will suggest that infants are either innately prepared to perceive vowels in terms of their articulatory properties or they learn to interpret vowels in this way very early life.

FAQ

Can I bring my child's sibling along?

Yes, of course you can bring your child's sibling along even if they are not participating in the study. There is a play area at the lab so if there is an extra available researcher they can watch your child there while you and your baby complete the testing. Otherwise, the sibling can also accompany you both to the testing room and watch the testing process from a screen outside the sound booth.

How long do the studies usually take?

Depending on the study, the experiment itself usually takes anywhere between 5-15 minutes after which we have a language questionnaire which takes anywhere between 10-30 minutes. We usually schedule for 30 minutes to 1 hour long appointments in case you need to feed or change your baby. 

Is there any compensation for taking part in the studies?

Unfortunately, our funding does not allow us to compensate the participants, but we are very thankful for your contribution to our research and will be happy to reimburse you for your transportation (bus, metro) or parking. 

Is there parking space & a metro station nearby?

Yes, there is a parking garage just underneath our building and the lab is located at a 5 minutes walking distance from metro McGill, we will send you more details about how to access it from the street when we schedule you in for a study.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

Our work focuses on infants between 4 and 18 months of with diverse language exposures. (English, French, bilingual, multilingual)

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