Undergraduate Honours Theses
Previous research by Persaud (2013) found that infant listeners preferentially listen longer to sung stimuli over spoken stimuli, regardless of the age of the infant. The present study tests two age groups of infants to determine whether early language exposure affects infants' listening preferences for song and speech. Six- to seven-month- old infants and eight- to ten-month-old infants from English speaking homes were presented with auditory stimuli of English-speaking women speaking or singing and tested in a head-turn preference task. Consistent with the findings from Persaud (2013), it was found that both age groups listened longer to the sung stimuli compared to the spoken stimuli. This suggests that song is inherently more attractive to infants, possibly because song stimuli are generally less acoustically variable compared to speech stimuli, and therefore ultimately easier for infants to cognitively process compared to speech stimuli. The results of this study support a processing-based account of infants' preferences for ID-stimuli.