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Research in our lab is approved by the Psychology/Sociology Research Ethics Board. We are grateful for funding from Research Manitoba and SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), as well as internal funding from the University of Manitoba.

Preference Studies

Do preterm infants process speech sounds differently from full term infants? (5-14 month olds)

Infants born before 37 weeks have less exposure to the sound properties of the uterine environment than full term infants. We are looking at how this different experience affects infants' developing ability to perceive speech sounds.

How are infants' preferences for the special properties of child-directed speech different in different (or the same) cultures and languages? (4-15 month olds)

We speak very differently to babies than we do to other adults — but this style of speaking varies across cultures and languages. In a large scale study involving several dozen laboratories around the world, we are comparing infants' preference for this form of speech. This study is also allowing us to study and make improvements on the methods we use.

How does bilingual language experience affect infants' perception of vowel sounds? (5, 8, and 12 month olds)

Different languages have different boundaries between vowel sounds. We are comparing how bilingual French-English, bilingual German-English and English monolingual infants hear vowel sounds.

Recording Studies

What are the language environments of infants born to young mothers? (0-24 month olds)

Teen moms face many challenges in providing high quality developmental environments for their infants. We are currently recruiting teen mothers and their infants to participate in a study looking at the language environment in these households. This will include 4-5 full day home audiorecordings, questionnaires, and assessments of the infants' development. Our findings will help us know how best to support these mothers.

Selected Publications

Frank, M., Bergelson, E., Bergman, C., Cristia, A., Floccia, C., Gervain, J., Hamlin, J.K., Hannon, E.E., Kline, M., Levelt, C., Lew-Williams, C., Nazzi, T., Panneon, R., Rabagliati, H., Soderstrom, M., Sullivan, J., Waxman, S., Yurovsky, D. (2016). A collaborative approach to infant research: Promoting reproducibility, best practices, and theory-building. Infancy.

VanDam, M., Warlaumont, A. S., Bergelson, E., Cristia, A., Soderstrom, M., DePalma, P., & MacWhinney, B. (2016). HomeBank, an online repository of daylong child-centered audio recordings. Seminars in Speech and Language, 37, 128-142. DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1580745

Reimchen, M., & Soderstrom, M. (2016). Do Questions Get Infants Talking? Infant Vocal Responses to Questions and Declaratives in Maternal Speech. Infant and Child Development.

Soderstrom, M., Reimchen, M., Sauter, D. & Morgan, J.L. (2015). Do Infants Discriminate Nonverbal Vocal Expression of Positive Affect? Cognition and Emotion. DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2015.1108904

Golinkoff, R., Deniz Can, D., Soderstrom, M. & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2015). (Baby)Talk to Me: The Social Context of Infant-Directed Speech and its Effects on Early Language Acquisition. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24(5), 339-344.

Ko, E., Reimchen, M., Seidl, A., Cristia, A., & Soderstrom, M. (2015). Entrainment of Prosody in the Interaction of Mothers with their Young Children. Journal of Child Language,

Cristia, A., Seidl, A., Junge, C., Soderstrom, M., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Predicting individual variation in language from infant speech perception measures. Child Development, 85(4), 1330-1345.

Bernier, D. (2013). 9- and 12-month-olds Fail to Perceive Infant-Directed Speech in an Ecologically Valid Multi-Talker Background. Masters thesis. University of Manitoba.

Soderstrom, M., & Wittebolle, K. (2013). When Do Caregivers Talk? The Influences of Activity and Time of Day on Caregiver Speech and Child Vocalizations in Two Childcare Environments. PLoS ONE, 8(11), e80646.

Reimchen, M. (2013). Infant vocal responses to questions and declaratives in maternal speech. Masters thesis. University of Manitoba.

Ko, E.-S., & Soderstrom, M. (2013). Additive effects of lengthening on the utterance-final word in child-directed speech. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 56, 364-371.

Soderstrom, M., Ko, E.-S., & Nevzorova, U. (2011). It's a question? Infants attend differently to yes/no questions and declaratives. Infant Behavior and Development, 34, 107-110.
~Copy available on request~

Ko, E.-S., Soderstrom, M., & Morgan, J.L. (2009). Infants' perceptual sensitivity to extrinsic vowel duration in American English. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Express Letter, 126, EL134-EL139.
~This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America.
The official abstract may be found at

Soderstrom, M., Conwell, E., Feldman, N., & Morgan, J.L. (2009). Statistical learning in language acquisition: Beyond demonstrations, towards a theory. Developmental Science, 12, 409-411.
~Copy available on request~

Soderstrom, M., Blossom, M., Foygel, I., & Morgan, J.L. (2008). Acoustical cues and grammatical units in speech to two preverbal infants. Journal of Child Language, 35, 869-902.

Soderstrom, M. (2008). Early perception-late comprehension? The case of verbal -s (A response to de Villers & Johnson, 2007). Journal of Child Language, 35, 671-676.

Soderstrom, M. & Morgan, J.L. (2007). Twenty-two-month-olds discriminate fluent from disfluent adult-directed speech. Developmental Science, 10, 641-653.
~Copy available on request~

Soderstrom, M., White, K.S., Conwell, E. & Morgan, J.L. (2007). Receptive grammatical knowledge of familiar content words and inflection in 16-month-olds. Infancy, 12, 1-29.
~Please contact Lawrence Earlbaum Associates for permission to reprint this article.~

Soderstrom, M. (2007). Beyond babytalk: Re-evaluating the nature and content of speech input to preverbal infants. Developmental Review, 27, 501-532.

Soderstrom, M., Kemler Nelson, D. G., & Jusczyk, P. W. (2005). Six-month-olds recognize clauses embedded in different passages of fluent speech. Infant Behavior and Development, 28, 87-94.
~Copy available on request~

Soderstrom, M., Seidl, A., Kemler Nelson, D. G., & Jusczyk, P. W. (2003). The prosodic bootstrapping of phrases: Evidence from prelinguistic infants. Journal of Memory and Language, 49, 249-267.