Events / ILST seminar: Amanda Seidl

ILST seminar: Amanda Seidl

April 12, 2024
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

3401 Walnut Street, Room 401B, 3401 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

Amanda Seidl
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Yale University


Touching to learn: How sensory cues impact word segmentation and learning


A large body of research documents the noisiness of the infant’s environment and the difficulty of word segmentation and learning. Despite this, infants successfully segment and recognize some words by 4-5 months. Here, I discuss one possible explanation for this early acquisition –that children privilege certain sensory streams and that caregivers use these streams in ways that support both word segmentation and learning. I share data from both carefully controlled experiments and natural interactions that show that caregivers align touch with their speech in ways that are informative for both word segmentation and word-to-word mapping and that children make use of these cues. Ultimately, the goal of this work is to get us closer to understanding the nature of the word learning problem and to help design bespoke interventions for children who have challenges in word learning for a variety of reasons.