School of Psychology Seminar Series - Processing the Linguistic Environment in our Pre and Post-natal Worlds

Date Wednesday 8 March 2023
Time 12pm - 1pm
Where MSB.1.03 or zoom:
Presenter Dr Kirsty Dunn
Contact Nicola Starkey
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

Dr. Kirsty Dunn is a Lecturer in developmental psychology at Lancaster University.

At birth, we are faced with a vast array of multiple information sources around us and we must learn to make sense of them. In language learning, this is often characterised as a hugely difficult problem, where infants, for example, are required to determine which word in multi-word utterances relates to which feature of their environment. From these multiple possibilities within language and within the environment to which language refers, infants accomplish the task with impressive speed. So how do infants navigate this complexity so quickly? Native accounts suggest that this would be quite unfeasible without innate mechanisms for language processing and put forward evidence of remarkable abilities to process language at birth. However, our social environment offers a wealth of cues that scaffold learning and growing evidence suggests that birth is not the starting point for learning experience. Dr Kirsty Dunn will present evidence from a series of studies investigating how we process and learn from our linguistic environments before birth, into infancy and childhood periods.