BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Development of adaptive communication skills in infants of blind parents

    Ganea, Natasa and Hudry, K. and Vernetti, Angelina and Tucker, Leslie and Charman, T. and Johnson, Mark H. and Senju, Atsushi (2018) Development of adaptive communication skills in infants of blind parents. Developmental Psychology 54 (12), pp. 2265-2273. ISSN 0012-1649.

    [img] Text
    22166.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript
    Restricted to Repository staff only

    Download (531kB)
    22166a.pdf - Published Version of Record
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

    Download (423kB) | Preview


    A fundamental question about the development of communication behaviour in early life is how infants acquire adaptive communication behaviour that is well-suited to their individual social environment, and how the experience of parent-child communication affects this development. The current study investigated how infants develop communication skills when their parents are visually impaired and cannot see their infants' eye gaze. We analysed 6- minute video-recordings of naturalistic interaction between 14 sighted infants of blind parents (SIBP) with a) their blind parent and b) a sighted experimenter. Data coded from these interactions were compared to those from 28 age-matched sighted infants of sighted parents (Controls). Each infant completed two visits, at 6-10 months and 12-16 months of age. Within each interaction sample, we coded the function (initiation or response) and form (face gaze, vocalisation, or action) of each infant communication behaviour. When interacting with their parents, SIBP made relatively more communicative responses than initiations, and used more face gaze and fewer actions to communicate, than did Controls. When interacting with a sighted experimenter, by contrast, SIBP made slightly (but significantly) more communicative initiations than Controls, but otherwise used similar forms of communication. The differential communication behaviour by infants of blind vs. sighted parents was already apparent by 6-10 months of age, and was specific to communication with the parent. These results highlight the flexibility in the early development of human communication behaviour, which enables infants to optimise their communicative bids and methods to their unique social environment.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): development, communication, interaction, infants, blind parents
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2018 08:11
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:41


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item