Thursday November 21, 2019
Home Lead Story Study: Infant...

Study: Infants can Learn to Associate Ethnicity with Language

The research was done in Vancouver, Canada where approximately nine per cent of the population can speak Cantonese

0
//
ethnicity, languages, infants
This study suggests young infants pick up on specific language-ethnicity pairings based on the faces and languages they encounter, researchers said. Pixabay

A study has found that babies as young as 11-month-olds can learn to associate the language they hear with ethnicity. Published in the journal Developmental Psychobiology, the research found that infants looked at faces of Asian descendents rather than at those who looked Caucasian when hearing the Cantonese language versus English.

“Our findings suggest that by 11 months, infants start making connections between languages and ethnicities based on the individuals they encounter in their environments,” said Lillian May, Professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

“In learning about language, infants are doing more than picking up sounds and sentences, they also learn about the speakers of language,” she added. The research was done in Vancouver, Canada where approximately nine per cent of the population can speak Cantonese.

infants, language, ethnicity
“In learning about language, infants are doing more than picking up sounds and sentences, they also learn about the speakers of language,” she added. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers played English-learning infants of Caucasian ancestry sentences in both English and Cantonese and showed them pictures of people of Caucasian descent and of Asian descent.

ALSO READ: Study: Students who Take Music Courses Tend to Score Better in Exams than Non-Musical Peers

When the infants heard Cantonese, they looked more at the Asian faces than when they were hearing English. When they heard English, they looked equally to Asian and Caucasian faces.

This study suggests young infants pick up on specific language-ethnicity pairings based on the faces and languages they encounter, researchers said. “The link between speaker characteristics and language is something no one has to teach babies. They learn it all on their own,” said Janet Werker, Professor at the varsity. (IANS)

Next Story

Study Says, Air Pollution can Reduce Heart Rate response causing Stress in Infants

The air pollution levels in this study were similar to levels experienced by the general US population

0
Infants
By studying the babies' heart rate and respiration at age six months, the researchers found that the higher the level of the mother's exposure to Air Pollution in pregnancy, the less variability in the heart rate of Infants in response to a stress challenge. Pixabay

Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy is associated with reduced cardiac response to stress in their six-month-old infants, warns a new study.

Decreased heart rate variability, as observed in this study, is a known risk factor for mental and physical health problems in later life.

Variability in how the heart rate responds to stressful experiences is essential for maintaining optimal functioning of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems and also is central to emotional well-being and resilience to stress over one’s lifetime.

Air pollution’s negative effect on heart rate variability has previously been found to lead to medical and psychological conditions such as heart disease, asthma, allergies, and mood or behavioural disorders in studies of older children, adolescents, and adults.

“These findings, in combination with increasing worldwide exposure to particulate air pollution, highlight the importance of examining early-life exposure to air pollution in relation to negative medical, developmental, and psychological outcomes,” said senior author Rosalind Wright from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

For the study, the researchers studied 237 Boston-based mothers and their infants and used satellite data and air pollution monitors to determine the level of particulate air pollution the mothers were exposed to during pregnancy.

Air Pollution
Exposure to Air Pollution during pregnancy is associated with reduced cardiac response to stress in their six-month-old Infants, warns a new study. Pixabay

The air pollution levels in this study were similar to levels experienced by the general US population.

By studying the babies’ heart rate and respiration at age six months, the researchers found that the higher the level of the mother’s exposure to air pollution in pregnancy, the less variability in the infant’s heart rate in response to a stress challenge.

ALSO READ: Russian Hackers Can Target 2020 Olympics, Warns Microsoft

The findings were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. (IANS)