Learning new words from sentences!

Your baby will listen to several short sentences containing new or familiar words as they watch a colorful checkerboard (or jack-in-the-box toy). We will measure how long your baby attends to the screen to see which of the new words your baby prefers to listen to.

How to participate

On lookit

Who can participate

10-12-month-old babies with typical hearing and vision (corrected is fine, e.g. glasses or hearings aids) who hear English at home (bilingual/multilingual are also welcomed); US only.


15 min


Eligible participants will receive a $5 Amazon gift card within one week of participating in the study. To be eligible for compensation you must (1) meet the eligibility criteria and (2) provide a valid consent video. Each child is eligible to participate in the study and receive a gift card only once.

What we’re studying

Measuring what words or sounds a baby prefers to listen to is a research technique that usually requires a carefully controlled lab setting. In this study, we want to know whether we can use this technique with babies at home. To find out, we’ve adapted an existing study by Shi and colleagues (2006) which found that frequent function words like “the” can help babies to extract new nouns from the sentences they hear. Since the original study was done in a carefully controlled research lab, we can compare the results we get from your baby (and other babies at home) to find out whether we can use this same technique online as well. Answering this question is especially important now, during the pandemic, because it is not yet safe for many researchers to bring babies into the lab. But it will also be important for the future, since many babies (and their families) may find it more convenient and comfortable to participate in research from home.


Still have questions? Send us a message and we will be happy to help.