Campus News

Background noise impairs toddler speech development

Background speech, such as from an unwatched TV, can make it harder for toddlers to learn new words, according to a recent study featured in Reuters.

One thing parents need to understand is that infants and toddlers aren’t as good at tuning out distractions as adults, said Suneeti Nathani Iyer, an associate professor of speech and language pathology in UGA’s College of Education, who wasn’t involved in the study.

“When adults are in the presence of a lot of background noise, we are able to ignore it and focus on what is relevant,” Iyer told Reuters. “Infants appear to not be as good at filtering out background noise and focusing on relevant information.”