Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Lucy Ma Humanities and Social Science

Infant Locomotion, Cognition and Early Language Acquisition

My research seeks to examine the functional consequences of locomotor experience. Current research insists that the onset of walking leads to psychological changes that have not been appreciated or expected. Some studies show that an infant’s receptive and productive language seem to improve dramatically after acquiring the ability to walk. However, critics are doubtful because this finding is based off of survey data gathered from parental report. I believe that a direct measure of infant language comprehension can serve as a converging research operation and provide more persuasive evidence. I seek to establish an experimental procedure for testing language comprehension on infants between twelve to sixteen months of age. I will also create a converging research operation by comparing data gathered under experimental setting to data from standardized tools (ex: parental report). My goal is to find out whether or not the link between infant language acquisition and the onset of walking still holds under an experiment setting.

Message To Sponsor

I am extremely honored to be selected as a SURF fellow. Independent research is intimidating but SURF is providing me with many wonderful mentors and resources to help me along the way. I would like to thank SURF and the Pergo Foundation for this precious opportunity, my project would not be possible without your support. I am also grateful to Professor Campos and his graduate student Minxuan He for fostering my interest in infant studies and developmental psychology. I am very excited to work on my very own project and I look forward to sharing my research with everyone.
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Major: Psychology, Legal Studies
Mentor: Joseph Campos, Psychology
Sponsor: Pergo
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