We are carrying out research to investigate the association between aspects of maternal behaviour and infant learning. Specifically, we are investigating maternal use of ostensive cues, such as making eye contact, accurate turn-taking and addressing the infant in infant-directed speech, and maternal reflective functioning (mentalizing). We are also investigating how the use of these cues may influence infant learning.
We are recruiting mothers and babies from children’s centres and mother-baby groups throughout London. Mothers are interviewed using the Parent Development Interview and are asked to complete a set of questionnaires about their child and their relationship with them. We also video record the mothers teaching their child a simple task and a short play interaction between them.
To investigate the associations between maternal ostensive communication, reflective functioning and sensitivity and how these variables influence infant learning.
To develop our understanding of maternal ostensive communication and how this is assessed.
Chief investigators: Michelle Sleed and Dr Tobias Nolte