INFANT PERCEPTUAL ABILITIES AS COGNITIVE PRECURSORS

Project Details

Description

The primary aim of the research proposed here is to examine the long- term relations between early perceptual-cognitive abilities (as indexed by habituation, recognition memory, and auditory temporal processing) and later cognitive and linguistic development. We specifically focus on language outcomes, including both receptive and expressive abilities, phonemic perception, and the acquisition of early reading skills as well as assessment of general cognitive outcomes. Determining in more detail the nature of the relationship between early perceptual-cognitive abilities and later language abilities would elucidate the perceptual and cognitive substrates of speech and language processes as well as illuminating the evolution of skills necessary for "reading readiness". The development of more precise measures for early identification of those children most at risk for later cognitive or linguistic disorders would also be facilitated. We have been pursuing 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) and by collecting cross-sectional, normative data on ATP for infants 6-10- 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-birthweight (VLBW) infants, and infants from families with a positive history of specific language impairment (LI). No one, to our knowledge, has identified infants in families with a history of language-based learning-impairments (LI) and then followed these children through their early language acquisition period up to the age when reading is acquired. Moreover, even in normal populations, the developmental course of auditory temporal processing skills (a robust predictor of specific language impairment) have not been followed prospectively from infancy through early childhood. Therefore, we would like to extend longitudinal study in early infancy and assessed at 6,9,12,16, and 24 months will be followed and evaluated at ages 3, 4, 5, and 7 years. By ages 4 to 5 years, reading readiness skills can be assessed and at age seven, when most children are reading, a comprehensive language battery will be administered, including assessments of expressive and receptive language phonemic discrimination and production, syntactic complexity, and beginning reading skills.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/1/943/31/06

Funding

  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $315,495.00
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $324,602.00
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $340,588.00
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $332,356.00
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

ASJC

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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