Local parents share thoughts on PU Psychologist’s findings

When explained Princeton University psychologist Lauren Emberson’s recent study conducted on infants’ brains making early audio-visual connections, local parents shared the evidence they see in their little ones in everyday life. The Sun asks, “do you see your child react immediately to something when they hear it?” Here is what some babies already have mastered.

Sophie the Giraffe is a well-known sensory toy for teething youngsters. From France, Sophie squeaks for audio, has smooth rubber skin for tactile, and brown spots to spark any infant’s visual stimuli. Princeton mom Stephanie Angus explained how her 6-month-old daughter Emma already knows the squeak sound well. Just as the infants in Emberson’s study expected to see the smiley face after they heard the primary honk noise, Emma expects to see Sophie whenever she hears its squeak.

Angus’s son Chase, 23 months, always reacts when he hears the word “wiggle,” because he loves the show “The Wiggles.” When Angus brought it up, Chase leaped in excitement – expecting to watch his show.

Max Liu, also 6 months, has already made the connection between a car horn and a car in motion. His mother Doris said he looks for cars if he hears the similar beep.

Olivia Ren, better known as “YoYo,” 15 months, has proven to have the same surprised reaction as babies did in Emberson’s study when she doesn’t see what she expects to. Her mom Lei always exclaims “beautiful” to YoYo when they look at a certain set of pictures in one room in their house. Lei has since noticed when she uses the word “beautiful” in a different context, her daughter looks around and seems shocked or confused when she does not see the picture on the wall.

The Jhunjhunwalas have a wooden staircase in their home. Nine-month-old Eira is just learning to climbs the stairs and must use her hands to do so. When she wants to tackle them, she extends her hands in a clutching motion. Her mother Shannon noticed early on that Eira made the connection that hearing the sound of footsteps echo down the stairs gave her the impression that she would climb – and she clutches her hands.

Thomas Bowmaker, also 9 months, has learned the sound of the kitchen cabinet opening means it is time to eat. His mother Lynn explained that even if she opens them for something else, Thomas opens his eyes wide and gets ready to be hungry.

About Erica Chayes Wida

Erica Chayes Wida is a writer, mom, and complete zealot when it comes to poetry, paella and globe collections. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from UCLA, Erica moved to Italy where the seasons and old architecture inspired her journey back to the East Coast. Since then, she and her husband have created a nest egg locally and, over time, developed a rather grand love affair with the town of Princeton. Erica is senior editor at The Princeton Sun and enjoys fulfilling her Princeton affections on a daily basis. | View all posts by Erica Chayes Wida