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 SRCLD Presentation Details 

    New Perspectives on the Role of Joint Attention in Language Development  
Peter Mundy - University of Miami

SRCLD Year: 2006
Presentation Type: Invited Speaker
Presentation Time: (na)
Theory has long suggested that the development of joint attention in infancy plays a vital role in the initial stages of language acquisition. By and large research has supported this contention and has suggested that social-cognitive processes contribute to continuities between infant joint attention and language development. However, to fully understand the nature of the relations of joint attention to language it is important to identify the processes that are associated with stable individual differences in joint attention development in infancy. Several recent studies on this issue suggest that a number of factors including executive, motivation and self-regulatory processes may also be integral to the development of joint attention. This presentation will provide an overview of this new “multi-process” view of joint attention and consider its implications for how we assess infant joint attention and understand its role in early language development. The discussion will draw on research from studies of both typical and atypical development. Several of the main topics to be discussed include: a) research and theory that suggests that measures of infant joint attention do not reflect the same constellation of processes at all points in development, b) research on the neuropsycho-logical and emotional processes involved in infant joint attention development, c) longitudinal studies that indicate that measures of infant joint attention predict long term language and cognitive outcomes in childhood, as well as individual differences in the initial stages of language development and d) research on the relations between joint attention development and attachment that suggests that individual differences in infant joint attention may moderate the effects of less than optimal caregiver responsiveness on early language development.
Author Biosketch(es)

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Supported in part by: NIDCD and NICHD, NIH, R13 DC001677, Susan Ellis Weismer, Principal Investigator
University of Wisconsin-Madison - Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders