PLAY Lab Current Research Projects

Emergence of Visual Language Perception

Using eye-tracking, we ask how infants recognize the difference between sign language and other body actions like gestures. We also study how young deaf children navigate digital picture books with dynamic ASL videos.

Visual Listening Effort

We all experienced “Zoom fatigue” but is it harder for deaf people who rely on lipreading? Does “listening” in sign language present different cognitive challenges? Is it more challenging for hearing or deaf signers, and if so, why?

Parent Attitudes about Play Study

Children’s play may provide cognitive advantages for them, especially when parents engage in play with their children, but not all adults believe that play leads to learning, and not all parents engage in the same play behaviors. How does this impact children’s cognitive development? Using surveys, we examine cultural differences in attitudes about play in parents who live in different geographical regions and parents who have hearing or deaf children.

Exploratory Behaviors Museum Study

Using video recordings and body movement sensor recordings, we initiate a new study, funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation, on how deaf and hearing preschoolers explore novel objects via touch, for the purpose of play and learning in the classroom. We test the hypothesis that quality and quantity of tactile exploration and play might later predict word learning.  Learn more