Babies Use Their Own Names To Help Learn Language: "Texas A&M University psychologist Heather Bortfeld and her colleagues tested babies by having them listen to sentences containing the pairing of one target word with the baby's own name such as 'Emma's cup is here.' The babies, Bortfeld explains, also listened to a different name paired with another word, such as 'Autumn's bike is here.' After the babies were exposed to the sentences, they were only allowed to hear the target word, 'cup' or 'bike.' The babies, Bortfeld says, preferred listening to the word that had followed their own names as opposed to the ones that had not. "
Bortfeld's research, which appears in the upcoming April issue of "Psychological Science," shows that babies use familiar words such as their names as a sort of "anchor" into the speech stream