It is well known that well before infants have a good visual acuity, they have a well-developed auditory one. This is of particular relevance because infants for the first months after birth have more access to auditory than visual information about others’ actions. It is still an unanswered question whether they use this information to learn about the behaviour of other people. In order to better understand how action sounds contribute to infant social development, we investigate how the human brain becomes specialized for processing such information and how it is integrated with the corresponding visual information. Our research has shown that by the age of 7-months, human action sounds are already processed as distinct from other living (human vocalizations) and non-living (mechanical, environmental) categories of sounds in the infant brain (Geangu et al., 2015).
Currently we are working on a new project looking at how 7-month-old infants link the visual information about human actions with the corresponding sounds. To this purpose infants are presented with videos of humans performing simple actions and the corresponding sound, while their brain activity is recorded using EEG. If you want to learn more about the EEG technique you can click here.
If you would like to take part with your child in this project, please contact us here.