Developmental Psychology

The field of developmental psychology aims to explain how thinking, feeling and behaviour change throughout life. At the Department of Developmental Psychology in Tuebingen, we are interested in cognitive development in general, and in children’s speech development in particular. In our baby- and children’s lab, we investigate how the understanding of speech develops early in life. One focus of our research is how young infants perceive and learn their mother tongue. Our research typically addresses questions such as, “how do babies recognise words?”, “which features of the speech signal do babies use in recognising words?”, and “how do babies link these words to their meanings?” In order to provide answers to questions like these, we study word recognition processes in infants and toddlers aged 3-24 months. Another focus of our research is how speech perception changes throughout childhood. For instance, we are interested in whether speech recognition becomes more sophisticated when children learn how to read and write. To this end, we study speech recognition processes in preschool children who cannot read and write yet and in children attending years 1 and 2 of primary school. A third focus of our research is how school-aged children assign meaning to words and phrases.