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Appearance of dancing in early development predicts language development

Poster B100 in Poster Session B, Tuesday, October 24, 3:30 - 5:15 pm CEST, Espace Vieux-Port

Eriko Yamamoto1,2, Masahiro Hata2, Eiichi Hoshino2, Yasuyo Minagawa2; 1Sagami Women's University, 2Keio University

Dancing appears early in development. Dancing is “physical movement that forms rhythmic patterns and spaces”(Kuni, 1973). Previous study analyzed the development of infants' body movements longitudinally and reported an increase in the frequency of spontaneous dancing accompanied by rhythmic movements at around 9 months of age, with a range of simple to complex rhythms (Mazokopaki & Kugiumutzaki, 2009). Why do infants dance? The timing of the appearance of dancing coincides with the prelinguistic stage of language development. During the prelinguistic period, infants begin canonical babbling. This canonical babbling has rhythmic properties, and the expression of canonical babbling can be considered sensorimotor learning aimed at producing speech (Doupe & Kuhl, 1999). In fact, delayed appearance of canonical babbling has been reported to predict delayed subsequent language development (Whitehurst et al., 1991). Findings from research on language development suggest that the appearance of dancing in infancy may be based on the development of rhythmic movements that are shared with language development. In other words, dancing promotes the learning of rhythmic movements and is thought to play an important role in the development of language. Therefore, in this study, we examined the developmental relationship between dance and language in early development. The study was conducted between 2015 and 2023 and involved 79 infants and their parents who were surveyed when their infant was 9, 12, 18, and 24 months of age. The study consisted of questionnaires for parents and a developmental test for infants. For the parent questionnaires, we administered a dancing questionnaire when the infant reached 9 and 12 months, and then at 24 months we administered the Japanese version of the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory (CDI). In addition, we conducted the Kyoto Scale of Psychological Development (K-test) to infants at all ages to assess development in three domains: postural and motor development, cognitive and adaptive development, and language and social development. A cumulative link mixed model was used to examine the effect of dancing at 9 months of age on language development at 24 months of age. As results, there were two main findings in this study. First, the appearance of dancing at 9 months of age had a significant effect on the developmental quotients in language and social development of the K-test in at 24 months of age. Second, the appearance of dancing at 9 months of age had also significant effects on the vocabulary score and sentence complexity score at 24 months of age. This supports our hypothesis that dancing in early development promotes the learning of rhythmic movements and plays an important role in the development of language.

Topic Areas: Language Development/Acquisition, Language Production

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