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Guest Speaker: Environmental, Social, and Behavioral Cascades: Real-Time Learning Processes, Professor Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, NYU Steinhardt

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Location: On-line Email for link

Speaker: Professor Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, Professor of Applied Psychology, NYU Steinhardt

Title: Environmental, Social, and Behavioral Cascades: Real-Time Learning Processes

Abstract: Environmental & Behavioral Cascades in Infant Learning

Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, New York University


Learning is an embodied process. Infants actively navigate a world filled with cultural artifacts and social partners. And as they do, they create rich opportunities for learning. In this talk, I sample from multiple studies (infants 1 to 2 years) to show how infants’ moment-to moment interactions with the objects, places, and spaces of the home environment feed into language learning. Specifically, environmental materials, spaces, and routine activities provide a backdrop for infants to discover and play; in turn, infant actions elicit multimodal input from caregivers; and social input in the context of infant play reduces referential ambiguity to facilitate word learning. Findings across studies collectively illustrate key principles of cascading developmental processes that guide our work: (1) Environments are rich with opportunities for infants to discover and explore, (2) Children exploit environmental opportunities by actively engaging with whatever objects, spaces, and people are available to them; (3) Language learning is socially embedded, with infant behaviors eliciting contingently responsive inputs from caregivers that supports language learning; and (4) Learning and development unfold in real time as behaviors in one domain cascade to behaviors in another.

Host: Dr Suzanne Aussems

C T-LeMonda

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