Infant Studies

Sounds and Statistics – which patterns do you like?

This study examines how babies use the statistics of what they see and hear to understand the world around them. Previous work has shown that babies pay attention to how frequently sounds occur, and the patterns that sounds can make with neighbouring sounds. This prior work was done in a controlled lab setting; in this study, we will see if this same behaviour occurs in the real world. Eventually this research may help us determine what situations and environments are best for helping babies learn about language!

This is an online study – so you can participate from your own home.

If you have a baby who is in the age range of 0 to 6 months and are interested in participating, please email us at

In the meantime, you can read about some of our previous work:

Learning words from unfamiliar speech: One of the most exciting milestones in a child’s development is when they say their first words. But there is so much your baby has had to learn to get to this point – how to move their lips and tongue in the right way to make the right sounds, what kind of meaning goes with what sounds, and what sounds go together to make up the word in the first place! Scientists believe that one way we solve this last problem is by subconsciously tracking how frequently sounds go together. We call this ‘statistical learning’. In a series of studies, we are asking whether babies can use this ability across different types of language and non-linguistic sounds.