CMBN's April Benasich Sheds Light on Infant Language Acquisition in Recent Study

In the first months of life, when babies begin to distinguish sounds that make up language from all the other sounds in the world, they can be trained to more effectively recognize which sounds “might” be language, accelerating the development of the brain maps which are critical to language acquisition and processing, according to new Rutgers research

The study by Professor April Benasich and colleagues of Rutgers University-Newark is published in the October 1 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

The researchers found that when 4-month-old babies learned to pay attention to increasingly complex non-language audio patterns and were rewarded for correctly shifting their eyes to a video reward when the sound changed slightly, their brain scans at 7 months old showed they were faster and more accurate at detecting other sounds important to language than babies who had not been exposed to the sound patterns

Benasich directs the Infancy Studies Laboratory at Rutgers-Newark's Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN).


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