New paper on the social functions of infant babbling

A new article in Science Daily reports on our recent discoveries about the social functions of infant babbling.  Traditionally, baby babbling was thought of as simple motor exercise, but we have found that babbling plays a crucial role in the development of communication and language.  In our new paper published in Developmental Science, we asked mothers to react to audio and video clips of unfamiliar infants engaged in babbling.  We found that infants who babbled in more mature ways and who directed their sounds at objects received more informative speech from mothers.  Thus babbling can facilitate learning by eliciting information from parents.