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The Power of Conversational Turns

Learn how conversational turns link to better brain development!

On demand

Duration: 55 minutes

Author photos_names_CT webinar_v2

Three studies published in 2018 have validated the relationship between conversational turns and brain development, reaching similar conclusions in very different ways. Join us for a discussion with the lead researchers on the studies, Drs. Jill Gilkerson and Rachel Romeo, moderated by Shannon Rudisill of the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative. Boost your understanding of this critical research and learn more about how to put it into practice to support parents, caregivers, and teachers. 


About Dr. Gilkerson’s longitudinal research

This decade-long study followed the cognitive and linguistic development of children in connection with the language they experienced during the first years of life. The findings of this research support our long-standing belief that “serve and return” interactions are vital to children’s development and have lasting positive effects in the long term. Read more.

About Dr. Romeo’s research on brain structure and function

Neuroscience researcher Rachel Romeo used LENA technology and brain scans to show a relationship between conversational turns and brain activity and structure in four- to six-year-olds. Her studies correlate conversational turns with activation in Broca’s area of the brain, and white matter connectivity between Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, known language centers.


About Ms. Rudisill 

Shannon Rudisill is Executive Director of the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, a group of foundations committed to effective philanthropy in early childhood and elevating the importance of early childhood in policymaking.  Shannon previously served as Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development at the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.   She served on the Obama Administration’s early childhood leadership team, setting strategy for programs such as child care, Head Start, the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge, the Preschool Development Grants, and the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program.

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