Infants born preterm are at a critical stage of auditory development in a less-than-optimal environment. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a high-tech but low-touch environment where directed infant speech is sporadic and at times absent. Great disparities exist for those infants whose parents rarely visit. Previous research suggests that the quantity and quality of speech that infants hear is positively correlated with their future language proficiency.
Professors Newnam and Hay will discuss their research, which centers around the hypothesis that parental engagement through directed language is a low-risk, readily available intervention that can be used to reduce stress in the preterm infant and lead to improved brain development.
The UT Science Forum takes place via Zoom Friday, April 16 from noon to 1 p.m. Registration is required. Once registered, you will receive a link to join the Zoom presentation.