Little Language Detective: Hearing and Seeing Spoken Words

Little Language Detective: Hearing and Seeing Spoken Words

MARCS BabyLab (Western Sydney University)

Who Can Participate

This study is for babies 4 to 6 months old. Babies must be from monolingual English language background. No one should speak to your baby in another language more than 4 hours per week.

What Happens

Your baby will sit on your lap facing your computer screen and watch a 6-minute series of cartoon animals paired with made up words. Sometimes they will hear the words, but other times, they will see a woman say the words silently. We are testing our prediction that your baby will learn which words go with which animal pictures regardless of whether they hear the words or see them silently mouthed.

When doing this study, it is best to be in a quiet room with no other people or pets present so your baby is not distracted. Please get a hat with a visor (such as a baseball cap) and a music player (such as a phone) with earbuds or headphones so that you won’t be able to influence your baby’s reaction to the words and pictures.

What We're Studying

Children rapidly learn their native language(s). Here, we are studying the very building blocks of this ability: how very young babies listen to and watch people talking, using that experience to learn how spoken words work. This study will also help us understand how this early knowledge underpins later language development.


about 15 minutes


If your baby is in the correct age range (4 to 6 months) and if you are in Australia/New Zealand/the US, we will email you a $5 Prezzee gift card that you can use in a participating store or online. Note that you can only do this particular study and receive payment once (a valid consent video is required). If you are outside these countries, we still welcome your participation and hope you will enjoy the experience, but unfortunately, we cannot email you a Prezzee card.

For Australia:

For New Zealand:

For the US:

This study is conducted by

Would you like to participate in this study?