Short stay


Linguistics - Germany

Research topics


Exploring the link between infants’ visual attention and their speech motor productions

Speech is a biological behavior emerging very early in development. It is shaped by multi-faceted interactions in the speech motor, perceptual, lexical and phonological domains, which develop in a seemingly parallel fashion. The primary goal of this project is to investigate the developing relationship between infants’ visual attention and their vocal repertoire in the early stages of spoken language development.
During the first year of life, infants’ perceptual abilities, initially limited to sound discrimination evolve towards a complex perception system, specific to the native language. From a speech production standpoint, between 6 and 12 months of age, infants transition from vegetative vocalizations to babbling, which represents infants’ first syllables. This essential step paves the way towards the complex spoken language system of adults.

The goal of this project is to first investigate an early link between visual attention and speech production in infants between 6 and 12 months of age. To this end, the project uses eye-movement tracking, ultrasound imaging of the tongue and vocal productions.
The findings drawn from this research will be used to submit a large joint research proposal with the DDL lab to elucidate the causal relationship between the development of speech perception and its production and detect possible disruptions in infants with a family history of language disorders that could later impact social and school integration.

Activities / Resume


Aude Noiray is a researcher at the Department of Linguistics, Cognitive Sciences at the University of Potsdam (Germany), an affiliate researcher at Haskins Laboratories (USA) and Laboratoire de Phonétique (UQAM, Montreal).

Following her PhD in Language Sciences at Grenoble-Alpes university in France, she has worked for 13 years in the academic community, first as a postdoctoral fellow at Haskins Laboratories (USA) then as a researcher and lecturer at Potsdam University (Germany), last as the director of the Laboratory for Oral Language Acquisition (LOLA) at the university which she created early 2015.
Aude Noiray’s research investigates the interactions between speech motor control and other language-related abilities (e.g., perception, phonology, reading). One of her main goal is to dissect the developing relationships between these processes to provide a unifying account of language development in typically developing children and to use this knowledge to understand the challenges children with speech and/or language related impairment encounter.
To achieve these goals, her research employs various methods including acoustic recordings, kinematic measurement of speech articulators, attention/perceptual tests as well as behavioral assessments of language-related abilities.

In Lyon, she collaborates with the DDL laboratory and with the DENDY team that focuses on (a)typical language development.