What infants perceive and understand has long been mysterious. Research to explore infant cognition and speech/language comprehension has exploded in recent years, with UMD faculty squarely at the forefront of this important area of inquiry. While some may view research into the infant mind as a basic science question, the fact is that in HESP, such questions assume major importance in identifying potential precursors of developmental delay early enough to intervene when treatment can be most effective.
Our work has already identified potential precursors of later language ability as early as eight months of age, many months before toddlers produce their first words, and has already targeted potential markers of more serious developmental disabilities, such as autism. We hope to make timely contributions to more effective identification of developmental delays and disorders, and guide more appropriate treatments to minimize their life-long impacts.
Visit the Infant and Child Studies Consortium's website for more information!