Why are children more successful at learning a new language compared to adults? Elissa Newport has devoted her career to studying human language acquisition, including the learning differences between children and adults. In her “less-is-more” hypothesis, she posits that children are better able than adults to learn languages because, paradoxically, they have fewer cognitive resources available to them. They naturally catch on to small parts of a language — sometimes making them even more regular than they were in the input language — and acquire its more complex or irregular aspects as they mature. In contrast, adults struggle to master a new language because they try to analyze the complexities from the start and do not as readily find the broad patterns. Newport’s most recent work uses functional MRI to examine how signed and spoken languages are represented in the brain and how language is reorganized after brain damage or disease.
The intense exhaustion of parental burnout can lead parents to feel detached from their children and unsure of their parenting abilities. More
As a researcher, adviser, and science communicator, APS Fellow Dorothy Espelage is raising awareness about effective strategies for preventing bullying and youth violence. More
Since emerging as a fad in the 1980s, “Baby on Board” stickers have persisted as a staple of rear windshields and bumpers on cars and minivans. According to urban legend, the death of an infant in a traffic accident led to the creation of the signs, but in truth they More