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Contributed by Nancy Rader on 06/10/2012
Nancy Rader, Psychology, has two recent publications using eye-tracking methodology that detail how, while speaking to an infant, caregiver gestures manage the infant’s attention; these gestures “unstick” infant attention from the speaker’s mouth and direct it to an object as it is being named.
This research appears in Language Sciences (currently available as a Language Sciences online article) and in Gesture and Multimodal Development (Amsterdam: Benjamins). She presented a recent finding, that infants’ looking at the speaker is related to maternal educational level, at the International Society for Infant Studies conference in Minneapolis; she also took part in a symposium in which she explicated the theoretical and observational foundations of her laboratory research. Her research was supported with a grant from NSF and has been carried out collaboratively with Patricia Zukow-Greenfield, UCLA.