Babies lip-read before talking

Babblers focus on adults’ mouths when learning how to speak

By Bruce Bower, 14:00 PM January 17, 2012

When adults mouth off, babies learn by watching. As infants start babbling at around age 6 months in preparation for talking, they shift from focusing on adults’ eyes to paying special attention to speakers’ mouths, a new study finds.

As tots become able to blurt out words and simple statements at age 1, they go back to concentrating on adults’ eyes, say psychologist David Lewkowicz and psychology graduate student Amy Hansen-Tift, both of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Whereas b...

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