I am mostly interested in investigating the role of verbal and non-verbal cues in early language development.
In my PhD project I will measure how the cues provided by daily face-to-face interaction support early language acquisition in infancy. More precisely I will estimate the respective influence of linguistic (e.g., seeing the mouth of the caregiver talking) and socio-emotional contents (e.g. intention to communicate through direct eye-gaze of the speaker, emotional information through the movement of the eyebrows, etc) on infants ability to acquire one or two native language(s). Indeed, I will also take the opportunity of conducting my PhD in Catalunya to also study how early bilingualism (i.e., Spanish-Catalan) constrains infants ability to process these different types of cues. To do so I will use infant friendly eye-tracking measures, in order to describe the attentional strategies that infants develops when they are paying attention to communicative faces. This technique will allow me to compute how much time infants pay attention to different kind of cues provided by the face of their social partners and how these different attentional strategies have an impact on their ability to acquire their native language(s).
Prof. Dr. Núria Sebastián-Gallés (University Pompeu Fabra, Spain)
Ágnes Melinda Kovács (Central European University, Hungary)