Across the globe, people use tools like FaceTime and Skype to connect with family and friends. What about our children? Do they understand and grow from these on-screen interactions with loved ones?
A team of researchers from Lafayette College, led by Professor Lauren J. Myers, Ph.D., studied 1- to 2- year olds to find out what they got out of these FaceTime interactions, looking to discover if they form relationships and learn from people via video chat. In the study, 60 children under 2 years old were divided into two groups. Each group experienced one week of either real-time video chat interactions or pre-recorded videos of novel words, actions and patterns.
Researchers found that children paid attention and responded to both people in the video, but only responded in sync with the partner in the interactive video chat (such as imitating a clap after the person in the video did). Likewise – after one week of video chatting, children in the live condition learned social and cognitive information. For example, they preferred and recognized someone they had talked with through video-chat and they learned new words and patterns. Continue reading