Graduate Program in Neuroscience

November 29, 2018

Neuroscientist, Partricia Kuhl, demonstrates the benefits to coaching parents to better language skills of infants

Neuroscience faculty member, Patricia Kuhl, and her team show that parents who receive coaching in parentese and other language skills leads to infants with significantly more words than the parents who did not receive coaching. Parentese consists of a higher pitch, slower tempo, exaggerated intonation, and  acoustically exaggerated sounds. Dr. Kuhl and her team have demonstrated that babies much prefer to listen to Parentese than normal speaking and that children who hear parentese more frequently have higher vocabularies by 24 months of age. This new study started with english speaking parents with 6 month old infants that were tested at 6 months, ten months, and fourteen months. The coached parents recieved coaching sessions while the infants were 6 months and 10 months of age. The key takeaway is that any parent can incorporate parentese, or any of the other communication strategies, in their daily activities.

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