Babies may learn words better through touch

Infants may use their caregiver’s touches to learn new words, according to a recent study.

Researchers, led by Amanda Seidl, analysed the language development of four-month old babies, while they listened to a continuous stream of nonsense words.

In the first experiment, every time a particular word was spoken, researchers touched the babies’ knees. When a second word was spoken, researchers touched the infants’ elbows on one out of 24 occasions. Almost all the babies showed they had recognised the first word in a follow-up language preference study.

In a second experiment, researchers touched their own face instead of the babies’. The infants did not recognise any words in a later test.

Researchers are hopeful the findings may help discover what kind of learners children are, and then target their learning environment to their learning styles.

Read more at Purdue University