About Our Method

The Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm

We study language comprehension via Intermodal Preferential Looking (IPL). Children watch two side-by-side videos, and hear an audio that matches only one of the videos. We film the children’s eyes to see if they look longer at the video that matches what they hear. If they do, we infer that they understand—and have learned—the language in the audio. This method has allowed us to show that very young children:Child watching Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm videos in the lab

  • Understand Subject-Verb-Object word order before they produce it
  • Prefer to map novel words onto objects
  • Use sentence frames to learn about the meanings of verbs
  • Know some boundaries of noun categories
  • Extend novel verbs to as-yet-unheard sentence frames
  • Understand the meanings of many verbs

Video of the method

More info on IPL