Project Details


The study of early infant behaviors and their relation to later cognitive
and linguistic competence has been an enduring research focus in the
investigation of human development. Research which aims to predict
cognitive and linguistic abilities in later childhood based on early
infant behavior, implicate infant perceptual-cognitive abilities as likely
analogs for childhood information-processing skills. The primary aim of
this study is to examine the specific relationship between early
perceptual-cognitive abilities (as indexed by habituation, recognition
memory, and auditory temporal processing) and later cognitive and
linguistic development Speed of encoding appears to be the critical factor in differential
performance on perceptual-cognitive tasks. Measures of perceptual-
cognitive abilities in infancy, such as habituation decrement and
recognition memory, are in turn related to performance on childhood
linguistic and cognitive tasks. Similarly, studies with language impaired
children implicate a specific deficit in rate of sensory and perceptual
information processing. Previous research has found auditory temporal
processing and memory deficits to be highly predictive of developmental
speech and language impairment We propose to bring together two promising lines of research which, to our
knowledge, have not previously been integrated, in order to directly
examine the role of speed of encoding in infant perceptual-cognitive
abilities and its subsequent impact on later cognitive and language
outcomes. We will pursue these goals in two ways. First, by continuing to develop
and refine our infant operant conditioning paradigm that facilitates
assessment of auditory temporal processing (ATP) in the first year of life
and collecting cross-sectional, normative data on ATP for infants 4- to 9-
months-of-age. Second, by examining prospectively the developmental course
of early perceptual memory, information processing, and temporal
processing in three infant populations expected to differ in the course of
language development and the incidence of specific language impairment:
normal term infants, preterm very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants, and
infants from families with a positive history of specific language
impairment (LI). The primary rationale for the proposed research is to address and
integrate existing theories of early perceptual, cognitive and language
development. Ultimately, these studies may lead to the development of
specific measures which may provide for earlier prediction of subsequent
cognitive and/or language disorders.
Effective start/end date1/1/943/31/06


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $138,688.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $324,602.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $340,588.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $315,495.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $332,356.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $323,379.00


  • Medicine(all)

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