Perception, Language and Attention in Youth (PLAY) Lab

The newly-founded Perception, Language and Attention in Youth (PLAY) Lab's aim is to understand how early sensory experiences shape our visual, cognitive, and language abilities later in life. We study how deaf and hearing children learn through visual sign language, with the goal of understanding human cognition and learning more broadly. We compare behaviors and abilities of deaf and hearing people -- across all ages -- who use signed or spoken language.

Current Research Projects

NSF Research Traineeship

Dr. Bosworth is a member of the faculty team of the AWARE-AI NSF Research Traineeship Program. Graduate students from associated RIT Ph.D. and MS programs are invited to review information on how to apply and benefits for Trainees at our NSF Research Traineeship website. Women, Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing, and African American, Latino/a American, or Native American students are especially encouraged to apply.

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Meet Our Team

Our Founder/Director

Rain Bosworth

Dr. Rain Bosworth is an assistant professor in Department of Liberal Studies at RIT/NTID. Dr. Rain Bosworth is an experimental psychologist, studying development of perception and language in deaf and hearing children using eye-tracking at the newly-founded Perception, Language and Attention in Youth (PLAY) Lab. For her doctoral degree at the University of California, San Diego, she studied visual motion processing and attention in deaf adults, to better understand how deafness and sign language experience impact perceptual abilities. She is currently investigating gaze behavior in infants, children, and adults to address questions about how we learn and process American Sign Language (ASL). She has also studied how easily visual abilities are recovered in children who were treated for congenital eye disorders. Together, these lines of research reveal how early sensory input shapes perception, cognition, and language processing.

Our Research Team

Adrita Arefin holding her daughter. Adrita Arefin is currently a first year grad student of the Human-Computer Interaction Masters Program at RIT. She graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering from RIT, and shortly after, she worked for the Department of Defense in Philadelphia as a Computer Engineer in the Cybersecurity Department. After working there for some time, she realized that she was missing the “human touch” in her career, and thus decided to combine psychology with technology. Adrita is proud mother of her 1 year old daughter Arya.  This inspired her to learn more about how digital media and iPad technology impacts infants’ cognitive development.

Join our Lab

We are recruiting postdocs, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates! Coming together from a wide variety of backgrounds, our team members are the backbone of PLAY Lab. Their ideas bring diverse ideas to help shape the direction and mission of our research. Read on to learn more about how you can get involved.

More information and how to apply

Open Positions

Post-Doc Position no photo silohouette
Saving this space for our new postdoc associate.
Apply here
PhD Graduate Student in Imaging, Computing, and Information Sciences Click here for more information

Our Collaborators

Matthew Dye, PhD
Director of the Space Center
Alison Fitch, PhD
Department of Psychology
Sarah Hughes, PhD
Institute for Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham
Guoyu Lu, PhD
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science



Automaticity of Lexical Access in Deaf and Hearing Bilinguals: Evidence from the Color Stroop task," published in Cognition (2021)

Short video abstract (ASL, voice, and captions) of the study “Rapid Development of Perceptual Gaze Control in Hearing Native Signing Infants and Children," published in Developmental Science (2021)

Dr. Bosworth lectures with slides on Neuroscience and the Brain in ASL (with captions)

Dr. Bosworth invited by the Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate Program to discuss her personal and career journal as a Deaf Scientist

Dr. Bosworth interviewed about her research by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science Nation


Please also see my Google Scholar or ResearchGate profiles for PDFs.

Bosworth, R.G., Tyler, S.C., Binder, E.M. & Morford, J.P. (2021). Automaticity of lexical access in deaf and hearing bilinguals: Cross-linguistic evidence from the color Stroop task across five languages. Cognition, 212, 104659.   (Video)

Bosworth, R.G. & Stone, A. (2021).  Rapid Development of Perceptual Gaze Control in Native Signing Infants and Children. Developmental Science, doi:10.1111/desc.13086.

Bosworth, R.G., Stone, A., & Hwang S.-O.  (2020).  Effects of Video Reversal on Gaze Patterns during Signed Narrative Comprehension, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 25(3).  283–297. 

Bosworth, R.G., Wright, C.E., & Dobkins, K.R. (2019). Analysis of the visual spatiotemporal properties of American Sign Language. Vision Research, 164, 34-43.

Stone, A. & Bosworth, R.G. (2019) Exploring Infant Sensitivity to Visual Language using Eye Tracking and the Preferential Looking Paradigm.  Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), 147, e59581.

Stone, A., Petitto, L.A., & Bosworth, R.G. (2017). Visual sonority modulates infants’ attraction to sign language. Language Learning and Development, 14(2):130-148.

Blumenthal E., Bosworth R.G., & Dobkins K.R. (2013).  Fast Development of Global Motion Processing in Human Infants. Journal of Vision, 13(13) article 8.

Bosworth, R.G., Robbins, S.L., Granet, D.B. & Dobkins, K.R. (2013).  Delayed luminance and chromatic contrast sensitivity in infants with Retinopathy of Prematurity. Documenta Ophthalmologica, 127(1), 57-68. 

Bosworth, R.G., Petrich, J.A.F., & Dobkins, K.R. (2013). Effects of attention and laterality on motion and orientation discrimination in deaf signers. Brain & Cognition, 82(1), 117-126.

Bosworth, R.G. & Dobkins, K.R. (2013).  Effects of prematurity on the development of contrast sensitivity: Testing the visual experience hypothesis. Vision Research, 82(19), 31-41.

Bosworth, R.G., Petrich, J.A.F. & Dobkins K.R. (2012). Effects of spatial attention on motion discrimination are greater in the left than right visual field. Vision Research, 52(1), 11-19.

Bosworth, R.G. & Emmorey, K. (2010). Effects of iconicity and semantic relatedness on lexical access in American Sign Language. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 36(6), 1573-81.

Bosworth, R.G. & Dobkins, K.R. (2009).  Chromatic and luminance contrast sensitivity in fullterm and preterm infants.  Journal of Vision, 9(13), 15, 1-16.

Dobkins, K.R., Bosworth, R.G., & McCleery, J. (2009). Effects of gestational length, gender, postnatal age, and birth order on visual contrast sensitivity in infants.  Journal of Vision, 9(10), 19, 1-21.

Emmorey, K., Bosworth, R.G., & Kraljic, T. (2009). Visual feedback and self-monitoring of sign language.  Journal of Memory and Language, 61, 398-411.

Contact Us

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For study and
research info,

1545 Saint Paul St
Rochester, NY 14621

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