Potential relevance of general purpose mechanisms to the onset of language: Audio-visual integration of ambient language in a pathological perspective  

Bjursäter, U., Lacerda, F., Sundberg, U., Gustavsson, L., Klintfors, E. & Marklund, E.

ESF Research Conferences: Brain Development and Cognition in Human Infants – From Action to Cognition, Acquafredda di Maratea, Italy, 1-6 October 2005.


The study aims at investigating parent-child interaction when the child has some perception and production disabilities, to monitor whether the parents modulate their own and the child’s behaviour to enhance interaction and progress the child’s linguistic development. A male child, born with Hemifacial Microsomia which includes a partial hearing impairment, is investigated during the ages 8-22 months. Analyses are made on the mothers’ linguistic structure, timing and turn-taking, repetitions and strategy in adjusting to the infant’s focus of attention in order to investigate how representations of early words may develop in the disabled human infant. The infants’ vocal productions are studied in order to observe the progress of the child’s verbal development. Audio and video recordings are used to collect data on parent-child interaction and child vocalization. Eye Tracking measures eye movements when presented with audio-visual stimuli. SECDI forms are applied regularly to observe the development of the child’s lexical production. Preliminary analyses indicate increased overall parental interactive activities. SECDI forms indicate a very limited lexical production. As babbling is somewhat delayed due to physical limitations, signed supported Swedish (SST) is used to facilitate communication and language development. Further collection and analysis of data is recurrently in progress.

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