Welcome to the Language Development Project

The Language Development Project is a longitudinal study that has received funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development since 2002. Its main research goal is to explore the extent and the limits of the language-learning process in young children. Two groups of families are enrolled in this longitudinal study: (1) a group of roughly 60 families with a child who was developing typically at entry into the study and (2) a group of 40 families with a child who had suffered a unilateral brain lesion in the pre- or perinatal period. Children and their caregivers participate in a primarily observational study of parent-child interaction in the early, pre-school years. Beginning in kindergarten, children complete tasks and assessments of language, reading, and other cognitive skills necessary for success in school. Along with traditional measures, we examine children's use of gesture during language learning and in more complex spoken language tasks given during the elementary school years. We also use fMRI techniques to assess the brain bases of language and reading competence.