Department of Psychology Colloquium Series

Monday, September 24, 11:00 AM 

Academic (Student Commons) Building Room 1401 (Boettcher Foundation conference room)

Dr. Michael H. Goldstein, PhD

Associate Professor
Director, Eleanor J. Gibson Laboratory of Developmental Psychology

Director, College Scholar Program
Department of Psychology, Cornell University

Learning to talk, learning to sing: Lessons from babies, robots, and songbirds on the development of communication

How do infants learn to talk?  Over the first year, the vocalizations of infant songbirds and humans change dramatically as they learn how to communicate.  The early babbling sounds made by birds and babies are typically relegated to the role of meaningless motor practice.  However, findings from my lab indicate that these immature sounds create opportunities for social learning that provide infants with knowledge of speech and song.  New studies reveal several characteristics of social interaction that are rewarding to young songbirds and human infants, and reward pathways may drive learning in social contexts. 

Here is some more information about Dr. Goldstein:
Web:  http://www.psych.cornell.edu/people/faculty/goldstein-profile/
Cornell B.A.B.Y. Lab:  http://babylab.cornell.edu/