Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor(s)

Rory DePaolis

Abstract

Although babbling is both prevalent and important in the process of language development, it could be argued that we still do not understand the basic nature of babbling. To further our understanding of the nature of babbling we attempted to find evidence for brain lateralization typical of adult speech acts during early babbling. This study examined infant mouth asymmetries during babbling sequences in search of evidence that babbling is an inherently linguistic act as indicated by the lateralization of the brain. Previously recorded videos of 12 infants, all 9 months of age, were examined, 29 images were captured, and a reliable and objective method of measuring the mouth for asymmetry was created and implemented in this study. The results were not statistically significant and did not provide sufficient evidence to support the theory that the brain had lateralized for speech.

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