First “Full” Assignment Done

I’m currently in my last full semester as an undergraduate; I’ll be a part-time student in the summer, and then I’ll graduate sometime in July or August. I’m still not really sure what I want to study in graduate school, but I have /some/ ideas: clinical psych, developmental psych, linguistics, speech pathology, public health. I can see myself doing something different every other week.

I’ve been a research assistant at the Infant Development Lab for almost two years, and I’m finally taking Dr. Bahrick’s course on Infant Knowledge during what might be my last semester in the lab ( :c ). Our first assignment was due last week, and since most of the research I know about is hers, I ended up writing about it for our journal assignment.

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High School Mental Health Project (HSMHP)

Our end of the semester project for my Censorship and Propaganda class was to create a project that relates an aspect of culture to our major.

I created a (fake) organization that focuses on hosting opinions that high school students have on various mental health topics. Images used are from Adobe Stock.

Here is the link: 

Below is the “About Us”:

High School Mental Health Project (HSMHP) is dedicated to bring awareness to mental health issues by hosting teen voices. While Miami-Dade County Public Schools has made some attempts to bring attention to mental health issues, some students feel like their efforts are not enough.

HSMHP’s goal is to provide students with a medium where they can express their opinions on how to handle mental health issues, whether it be at a school, national, or global level.

HSMHP also provides students and members of the community with statistical information derived from student surveys to further support student experiences and opinions. Under What Students Should Know, high school students can find more information related to mental health issues, from community resources to the latest research.

Opinions are posted anonymously, unless asked otherwise.

Increasing Task Difficulty Enhances Effects of Intersensory Redundancy: Testing a New Prediction of the Intersensory Redundancy Hypothesis


Infants can detect information that is common and redundantly across the senses. This information includes temporal synchrony (most fundamental amodal property), rhythm, tempo, and changing intensity, all of which are labeled amodal (meaning not specific to a particular sense modality). Amodal information are considering “building blocks” of perceptual development and facilitate perception of unitary multimodal events and are the “gatekeeper” to processes an event as a whole. To explain selective attention, Bahrick and Lickliter proposed the Intersensory Redundancy Hypothesis (IRH), which states that intersensory redundancy is highly salient and directs selective attention to amodal aspects of events that are redundantly specified across senses. It makes three predictions, with a forth being proposed and tested in this new study.

The fourth prediction of the IRH states that intersensory facilitation occurs in the presence of tasks of relatively high difficulty to a person in terms of perception. In early development, infants have limited attentional resources, making perceptual processing difficult. Perceptual learning occurs throughout a person’s lifetime, which means intersensory facilitation should be present in later development when perceivers need to learn how to perceive finer distinctions in stimuli (learning a new language, playing an instrument).  As infants grow older, they have more attentional resources and increased perceptual differentiation. The more difficult a task difficulty is, the more differentiation is needed, reverting older infants to use patterns of intersensory facilitation seen in younger infants. They are expected to show better detection of amodal properties in bimodal, redundant stimulation than in unimodal, nonredundant stimulation.

Results of the study confirmed predictions, finding that infants who receive tempo contrasts of high difficult showed intersensory facilitation. Infants given tempo contrasts of low and moderate difficult showed discrimination in both conditions. Findings suggest that discrimination is key in task difficultly, and supports the prediction that as tasks get more difficult, older and more experienced infants show patterns of intersensory facilitation shown by younger infants.


Bahrick, L. E., Lickliter, R., Castellanos, I., Vaillant-Molina, M. (2010). Increasing task difficulty enhances effects of intersensory redundancy: Testing a new prediction of the intersensory redundancy hypothesis. Developmental Science13(5), 731–737. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00928.x

The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3

Read about the 30 Million Word Gap for lab and I thought it was incredibly interesting. The fact that a 3-year-old’s vocabulary can predict their language skills when they’re 9 to 10 years old is proof of why we need effective intervention programs.

  • Language-intensive activities in a preschool located in a low SES area caused children to learn a spurt of words while also causing an abrupt acceleration in cumulative vocabulary growth curves. However, researchers “could not accelerate the rate of vocabulary growth so that it would continue beyond direct teaching.” Like other early intervention programs, the increases in vocabulary were temporary, and when children started kindergarten a year later, the effects of the boost in children’s vocabulary wore out. Disparities among developmental trajectories of vocabulary growth were suggested to be caused by SES – professor’s children knew and were exposed to more words than children from a lower SES background. To me, this suggests that in order for early intervention programs to have a long term impact, they must be administrated throughout the child’s entire educational lifespan.
  • Vocabulary use at age 3 is predictive of language skill at age 9-10. Differences in early experiences do not wash out like the effects of preschool intervention. It seems like parents can predict how the child would do in school by the time they’re two years old. To create an effective intervention program, you have to give all children the same early experiences. Looking at only the amount of words heard by children, the average child in welfare heard 616 words, half the amount of words heard by the average working-class child (which is 1,251) and less than one third of words heard by the average child of a professor (2,153). This means that in four years, there is a significant difference of accumulated experience with words between each of the groups: the average child in a professional child is experienced with 43 million words, average working-class child is experienced with 26 million words, average welfare child is experienced with 13 million words. This is when we really see how big the problem is and how important early intervention is. In order for welfare child to essentially “catch up” to children of professional families, a lot of time and effort is required to equalize their experiences. The longer we wait to intervene, the more less possible change and equalization will become.
  • Also interesting is that there is a significant difference in the children’s hourly experience with encouraging words and prohibitions. By the age of 4, the average child in welfare might have heard 144,000 fewer encouragements and 84,000 more discouragements of their behavior than the average child of a working-class family.
  • What is the impact of hearing more discouragements than encouragements?
  • Were children in higher SES families encouraged for behaviors that were discouraged in welfare families?
  • Similar studies with bilingual families?
  • Were any children in the study bilingual? Did the study just count only words in English or did it also include non-English words?
  • Children in daycare vs. not in daycare
    • difference in vocabulary?


Hart, B., Risley, T. R. (2003). The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3. The American Educator27(1), 4-9.

Infant Lab Terms from Encyclopedia Chapter

Some  of my notes from Bahrick, Hollich – Encyclopedia Chapter:

Intermodal perception/intersensory perception – the perception of unitary objects or events that make information simultaneously available to more than one sense

Intersensory redundancy: when the same amodal info is simultaneously available through difference senses

Intersensory redundancy hypothesis: amodal properties are detected easier in multimodal stimulation than in unimodal stimulation; modality specific properties are detected easier in unimodal stimulation; “facilitating attention to amodal information but impairing attention to modality-specific information in multimodal events”

Event perception: amodal relations provide basis for selecting unitary sights and sounds

Audiovisual perception: synchronized sight and sound

Speech perception: language units visual with auditory stimulation

Face-voice perception: broad during first year and narrows as infants have more experience with human faces than other faces; infants able to match unfamiliar faces and voices based on age and gender of speaker (i.e. males have deeper voices than children); link shape of a person’s mouth with sounds they make

Self-perception: visual-motor perception – infants can discriminate between self and others

Amodal information: not specific to a particular sense; can be characterized: time, space, and intensity

Modality-specific information: one particular modality (color, pattern, temperature)

Visual-tactile perception: information relating to shape, texture, substance, and size of object invariant across visual and tactile stimulation; tactile exploration facilitates their perception of amodal, 3-D shape of objects

Visual-motor perception: infants able to perceive their own body motion by detecting amodal info; proprioception is information about self-motion provided by feedback by muscles, joints, and vestibular system; infants take amodal info between proprioception experience of their own limbs motions and of visual image in a video to make a discrimination between self and other; visually guided reaching; posture-control