Welcome to the Baby Language Lab

This lab, started in Fall 2008, is dedicated to understanding the relationship between infants’ everyday language experiences and their language development. We look at what skills infants bring to the task of listening to the language, such as sensitivities to the melodic properties of language, and how these skills influence their ability to learn their first language. Most of our research involves perceptual studies of infants. In these studies, we play sounds and video for infants. By measuring their interest in what they are seeing and hearing, we can learn about what they understand and perceive about the world around them. We also collect recordings of language that infants hear in different environments and analyze different characteristics of those language environments. The Baby Language Lab is also active in ManyBabies, a largescale, worldwide collaborative research program that examines various aspects of infant cognition, such as social and moral reasoning, and responses to novel and familiar items. 

We are always looking for volunteers (babies and their parents or guardians) to come into our lab and participate in our studies. With our social evaluation study, we assess infants’ preferences for nice characters over mean characters. This takes about an hour. For other studies, we may do a comprehensive assessment of the languages your child hears, which takes about 30 minutes. You will receive a small gift from us for participating, as well as parking or bus fare reimbursement, and an enjoyable experience in our lab.

Please contact us to learn more. We hope to see you soon!

Lab News

This year we celebrate a number of accomplishments from our students:

  • Kiana Chubey on her acceptance to University of Alberta’s School and Clinical Child Psychology Masters program, and Cara Allardice on her acceptance to Lakehead University’s Clinical Psychology Masters program. 
  • Karmen McDivitt on successfully defending her PhD. 
  • Rebeca Urizar on receiving the Undergraduate Research Award.
  • Isabelle Hadley on receiving a Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM) summer studentship. 

Older News in the Lab:

  • Karmen McDivitt on receiving a placement with the University of Manitoba Clinical Internship, Megan Gornik on her acceptance to University of Manitoba’s Clinical Psychology Masters program, and Sarah MacEwan on her acceptance to the University of British Colombia’s Masters of Audiology program.
  • Karmen McDivitt on successfully defending her PhD dissertation proposal.
  • Brenna Henrikson on completing her Masters degree.
  • Kelsey Klassen, Mercedes Casar and Roman Belenya on earning their Linguistics/Psychology Undergraduate spring 2018.
  • Kelsey Klassen, Mercedes Casar, Roman Belenya and Kaitlyn Dyer on their acceptance to Masters Programs fall 2018.
  • Kathryn Rollins and Kaitlyn Dyer on receiving the Undergraduate Research Award.

Baby Language Lab in the News

  • The ManyBabies project that the lab is a part of was featured on CTV news in March 2020.
  • A segment on Megan Gornik’s honours thesis project aired on CTV news in December 2019. Her project investigated the development of social reasoning in infants under 10 months old.