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Anna Barnett

Research student

Anna Barnett

Lancaster University

Fylde College

LA1 4YF

Lancaster

Research overview

There is growing evidence that infants appreciate cross-modal correspondences. That is, they recognise interactions between different dimensions of sensory perception. We know that infants associate auditory pitch with visual size, angularity and visuo-spatial height. Other research has demonstrated the semantic power of prosody in infant-direct speech, particularly how it can be used to facilitate word learning. My research aims to bridge the gap between cross-modal correspondences and language development. Specifically, exploring whether the cross-modal correspondences infants are sensitive to might be capitalised on to aid the acquisition of language. If infants naturally detect correspondences between auditory pitch and some visual properties of objects, it might then be possible to teach which object a new word refers to by manipulating the prosody in which it is spoken.