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Why does this study assess language?

Language is a critical life skill. It allows children to tell adults what they want and what they need. It also allows them to share with parents what they see and understand about their world. Using language, people can communicate about the present, the past and the future. People can think and communicate about abstract ideas. Language is a major route for learning in children. It provides access to knowledge. It forms the roots for learning to read. Infants and toddlers who have strong language skills have a greater chance of succeeding in school, keeping friends, and eventually get a good job than children with early delays. 

What is the overall purpose of the PRELUDES study?

The purpose of this study is to explore how the social environment and characteristics of the brain both impact the development of language in children born preterm. The social environment includes the amount of language the child hears at home and the ways that children and families interact together. The characteristics of the brain are measured using MRI scans. 

Why is the PRELUDES study important?

The results of this study will contribute to theories of language development in all children. We do no yet understand how the environment can change the brain. We specifically hope to understand language development in children born preterm. Then we can help preterm children learn language at young ages to prevent or mitigate early delays.

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