Student Seeks Infants to Conduct Adult Facial Expression Response Research

Sunshine Wilson, a communication disorders major from Kansas City, Mo., is conducting research to study how infants respond to adult facial expression as a part of her McNair Summer Research Internship. She is under the guidance of her faculty mentor Janet Gooch, associate professor and director of communication disorders.

Wilson’s research project has been approved by the Institutional Review Board. Infants participating in the study range from 6 to 20 months. In attempting to recruit more participants, Wilson is asking members of the Truman community to consider involving infants they know within this age range to contribute to this research. Parents’ of infants who choose to participate would need to do the following: (1) bring the infant to Truman’s Speech and Hearing Clinic (located in Barnett Hall) for a brief 25 minutes at their earliest convenience (2) sign a consent form allowing their infant to participate in the study.

At the Clinic site, Wilson will interact with the infant in two different lay sessions lasting two minutes each. The child will also receive a language and hearing screening lasting about 15 minutes. She is investigating how a non-maternal adult’s facial expression (expressive vs. non-expressive face) affects babies’ responses by calculating the number of nondistress vocalizations, smile responses, and level of engagements of infants.
People who have an infant of their own can contact Wilson directly if they are willing to have their infant participate. Wilson asks people to pass on this information to anyone else who has an infant or if appropriate, send Wilson their contact information. The infant play interactions can be done any time before July 25.

Those who want to participate may schedule the interaction session Monday through Friday any time, even after 5 p.m. if that works best. Contact Wilson at 349.7146 or e-mail for more information about this study.
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