This is a guest post by our friends from The Metcalf Infant Research Lab at Brown University, where Itty Bitty and I had a lovely time this summer! I hope this information helps you – and maybe encourages you and your little one to help Brown further their research 🙂 — Tall Mom
How do
babies learn language? 
I’m sure you and many parents have wondered how babies learn
language!  Over the last 25 years, here
at The Metcalf Infant Research Lab at Brown University, we’ve wondered about it
every day!   How do they find the
boundaries between words in speech (therearenospacesbetweenwordswhenwetalk)? 
do babies know about the individual sounds that make up the words of their
language?  Which properties of the speech
that babies hear are helpful in the learning process? 
Babies are
adorable and they hold the answers we’re looking for!
We love meeting babies and their families, not just because
they’re adorable and fun to see but because they are the little people that
hold the answers we’re looking for!  We’re
a developmental psycholinguist lab located on the Brown Campus in a building situated
on Thayer Street. 
Our main focus is on infant language acquisition.  What is it about developing babies and
language that allows those babies to become experts in human language, before they
even learn to tie their own shoes?   There are many different components that make
up human language: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and
pragmatics are a good start of the list. 
As you can imagine, there’s a lot for us to figure out in terms of
infants and their developing use of these features.    You can find some of our research interests
and our published scientific articles on our website, under “our research”, at
We love
having new families visit us!
Itty Bitty went through one of our mispronunciation studies and I
think you’d agree that it was pretty easy. 
He seemed happy, even excited to look at the images we showed him while
we were playing some sentences for him to hear. 
Generally babies are happy to go through our short sessions.  We know it helps that they’re always seated
on a parents lap.  The best part for our
little visitors is when they get to pick out a gift (their paycheck) from our
gift cabinet.  We try to stay well
stocked with a variety of toys, books and infant lab t-shirts to choose from. 
Presently all of our studies are a one time commitment and
are completed on the same day that you come in! 
We’ll call to see if a family would like to come back when the baby’s
the right age for another study, but the studies are unrelated.  The total visit time is approximately half an
hour!  We spend most of our time working
with babies between the ages of 5 months to 26 months of age; born within 1
month of their due date, and that are predominately exposed  American English, with normal hearing and
Check us out
on Facebook!
We now have a Facebook page if anyone’s interested in
checking us out there.  Of course, we
hope all our visitors will “like” our page! 
Honestly the main purpose for our presence on FB  is to get involved in the online social
networking world, but we’re also trying to use Facebook as a platform to
provide a resource for moms, dads and moms-to-be, with fun and helpful
information on pregnancy, development, parenthood, kid-friendly ideas, local
events, area happenings and more.  We’re
attempting to develop a sense of community.    
We strongly encourage
participants from our studies and others to share our page with friends and
family members who they think might want to learn more about us!  They may even find an image of their little
one’s visit to the lab posted there, always with written consent from the
Get in touch with us, we love answering questions!
Here’s our Q code!  It links directly to our online sign up form
for anyone who would like to be contacted by one of our research assistants!  

There are several other ways to
get in touch with us:
*Call to speak with one our team members :  401-863-2377
*Email us at 
*Sign up online to be contacted by clicking HERE.