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Janette Chow

BSc (York), DPhil (Oxon)


Winkler Career Development Fellow in Psychology at St Hughs College

  • Postdoctoral Researcher at the Oxford BabyLab
  • Lecturer & Tutor for Part 1 Language & Cognition; Part 2 Language Acquisition
  • Tutor at St Hugh's College (Prelims: Intro to Psychology: Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology)
  • SEDA PDF Learning, Teaching and Assessing award

Sleep and Language Acquisition: from Infancy to Toddlerhood

Research Summary

Lines of Research:

Language-mediated visual attention:  

a) I investigate what representations and processes are involved in spoken-word recognition and how they can drive toddlers’ visual attention.  

b) Backward semantic inhibition (BSI): I study the emergence of inhibitory links in the toddler lexical-semantic system, and how inhibition may support attention-switching.

Sleep and Lexicalisation:

Children are exposed to new words every day. They may be able to reproduce a new word immediately, but when does a new word become part of a toddler’s vocabulary (i.e. lexicalisation)? The process of lexicalisation is associated with sleep in children and adults, but unclear in infants and toddlers. I investigate the relationship between day-time naps/night-time sleep and the lexicalisation of new words. 

Sleep, Cognitive Ability and Gender Differences in 3-Month-Old Infants

The literature has revealed that the distribution of sleep EEG power is analogous to human‘fingerprints’, that it is characteristics to individuals and invariant between nights. Associations between general cognitive ability and sleep spindling from infancy to adulthood have also been reported. However, more recent research suggests that this association is only significant in female adolescents and adults. Here we investigate whether such gender difference is present from the earliest stage of infancy.

Funding and Awards

2018- 2020 'Sleep and Vocabulary Development in Toddlerhood' British Academy / Leverhulme Small Grants (£10k)

2018-2020 Oxford University Returning Carer's Fund (£5k)

2018-2019 St Hugh's College Jackie Lambert Research Fund (£3k)

2017 Spanish Society of Experimental Psychology Best Scientific Paper in 2016: Chow, J., Aimola Davies, A.M., Fuentes, L.J., & Plunkett, K. (2016). Backward semantic inhibition in toddlers. Psychological Science. (€ 500)

2016 Best Poster Award at Annual General Meeting of Spanish Society of Experimental Psychology, Oxford UK: Chow, J., Aimola Davies, A.M., Fuentes, L.J., & Plunkett, K. Backward semantic inhibition in toddlers.  (€ 300)

2014 Graduate Student Award at International Conference on Infant Studies, Berlin, Germany (€ 250)

2013 Graduate Student Award at Central European University Conference on Cognitive Development, Budapest, Hungary 
(€ 130 fee waver)

Recent publications

More publications

Conference Presentations

Talks 

Chow, J., Aimola Davies, A.M., Fuentes, L.J., & Plunkett, K. (2016). Backward semantic inhibition supports attention-switching in toddlers. International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, U.S.A. 

Chow, J., Aimola Davies, & Plunkett, K. (2015). Object labelling and selective attention in 2-year-olds. International Convention for Psychological Science, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 

Chow, J., Aimola Davies, A.M., Brown, L., & Plunkett, K. (2014). The Tug of War Between Phonological, Taxonomic and Associative Information During Spoken Word Recognition in Two-year- olds. Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, Berlin, Germany. 

Poster Presentations

Delle Luche, C., Kwok, R., Durrant, S., Chow, J., Horvath, K., Cannati, A., Abbot-Smith, K., Krott., A., Mills, D., Plunkett, K., Rowland, C., & Floccia, C. (2016). It’s a big world: Understanding the factors guiding early vocabulary development in bilinguals. International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, U.S.A.

Floccia, C., Kwok, R., Delle Luche, C., Chow, J., Horvath, K., Cattani, A., Goslin, J., White, L., & Plunkett, K. (2016). Linguistic distance and semantic priming in 24- to 27-month-old bilingual children. International Conference on Infant Studies, New Orleans, U.S.A. 

Cattani, A., Kwok, R., Delle Luche, C., Horvath, C., Chow, J., Abbot-Smith, K., Goslin, J., Krott, A., Mills, D., Plunkett, K., Rowland, C., White, L., & Floccia, C. (2015). Not only amount of exposure but also linguistic distance to English affects the word learning of bilingual toddlers. In: Workshop in bilingual assessment of child lexical knowledge in Central Europe, 7-9 December 2015, Bratislava at Comenius University. 

Durrant, S., Delle Luche, C., Chow, J., Plunkett, K., Floccia, C. (2015). The origins of rhotic preference – natural or socially constructed? Poster presented at the 2015 SRCD Biennial Meeting, Philadelphia. 

Kwok, R.K.W., Delle Luche, C., Chow, J., Horvath, K., Cattani, A., Goslin, J., White, L., Plunkett, K., Floccia, C. (2015). Semantic priming effect in 24- to 27-month-old monolingual and bilingual children. Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, USA. 

Chow, J., Aimola Davies, A.M., & Plunkett, K. (2014). The Matching of Visual and Auditory Stimuli: Competition between Phonological and Taxonomic Representations during Spoken-word Recognition in 2-years olds. Dubrovnik Conference on Cognitive Science: Language and Conceptual Development. 

Chow, J., Aimola Davies, A.M., & Plunkett, K. (2013). The Time Course of Phonological and Semantic Knowledge Retrieval in Language-mediated Visual Search in 24- and 30-month-olds. Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, Budapest, Hungary.