Scientists can predict your baby's first words

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If you want to know what your baby’s first words will be, you really have to get down on their level. Literally. According to a study from researchers at Indiana University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, the first words babies say are tied to what and how (and from which angle) they see the world around them. 

Researchers found that the more often an object entered a baby’s field of vision, the more likely they were to associate words with that object. So researchers believe that if you know what your baby is seeing the most (e.g. his bottle or his puppy), you’ll know what they’re going to say when they start talking.

What’s most exciting about the findings is the role that visual memory plays in early language learning- and what that means for children with speech delays and autism. The senior author of the study explained, "Difficulty learning words could stem from visual processing problems. Children who are late talkers have slow or age-delayed visual processing skills for objects, for example. Children with autism have object-processing problems as well." With more research, their new theory, called the Pervasiveness Hypothesis, could change how autism is treated.  

 

Watch the video above to see why we can’t resist baby talk-- and how it helps babies learn our language.


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