Dr. Melanie Spence
How to Participate
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University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) is currently conducting an
exciting research project called the
Infant Learning Project.
The purpose of the project is to examine what young infants learn and
remember about their earliest experiences. We are discovering new
information concerning what babies are learning about speech, faces and
words as well as how babies may remember specific experiences.
You might wonder how developmental
psychologists study young infants, who are not yet old enough to talk to
us about what they know and remember. Quite simply, it is through
observing infants' natural behaviors, such as sucking and looking. These
behaviors can be monitored to find out what infants prefer to listen to
and look at, as well as what is new and what is familiar to them. For
example, when newborns are given the opportunity to listen to their
mother's voice or the voice of another woman by producing different
sucking patterns, they will produce the pattern that results in hearing
the mother's voice. Other procedures allow the baby to control hearing
various speech sounds by looking at pictures on a computer screen. The
sounds are presented only when the baby looks at the picture. These
procedures allow researchers to understand what sounds babies can detect
and remember, and what they are learning before they begin to talk.
To see how our lab works,
please take the picture tour.
Why Babies Like our Lab!