Wichita State University grad student Jennifer Francois is conducting research that studies the ways in which infants’ eyes track their mothers’ faces — a small detail that can have a big impact on a child’s foundation for future language development.

Francois, a doctoral candidate in Wichita State’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, used eye-tracking technology to monitor and record eye-gaze behaviors of 3- to 4-month-old infants.

The study is a collaborative effort between the WSU’s Applied Psychology Research Institute — which owns the eye-tracking equipment — Barbara Chaparro, coordinator of the Human Factors program, and Francois’ advisor, Kathy Coufal, both of whom lent their expertise in technology and language development to Francois.

“It has made for an avenue of unique and innovative research,” says Francois.

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