In this NSF INSPIRE grant, Petitto (PI) leads an international team to create and explore new methods to promote early learning gains for populations of children who would otherwise be at a lifelong disadvantage, especially infants with minimal or no early language exposure.

We expand the boundaries of traditionally separate sciences and unite synergistically interdisciplinary science teams to create a transformative learning tool and research platform called the Robot Avatar Thermal-Enhanced learning tool (RAVE).

This makes multiple available human language components in socially interactive and conversational ways to young children during critical periods of human brain and behavior development vital for lifelong strength in reading and language learning.

To overcome such devastating early language exposure barriers that vast numbers of children face, RAVE is augmentative for young deaf visual learners during vital, early-life, critical/sensitive periods of development and inclusion of many other children.

RAVE is to be placed near a baby’s high-chair to augment and lift young infants who would otherwise have only minimal language input into a honed sensitivity to, and integrated use of, multiple linguistic cues at the core of human language structure.

RAVE has the potential to provide:

  • A new aid to children with minimal or no early language input
  • A competitive science and technological edge for the nation
  • Training for students from multiple disciplines in interdisciplinary science
  • Advanced involvement of under-represented groups in STEM
  • Training for young deaf scientists in advancing scientific knowledge with transformative translational significance for all of society.

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The RAVE Revolution for Children with Minimal Language Experience During Sensitive Periods of Brain and Language Development

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