Attention, Perception and Acquisition of Language (APAL)

ORCID Research Profile


Position: Professor

Research Team


Joan Birulés Muntané

Early stage researcher


Contact details


Dr. Laura Bosch

Department of Cognition, Development and Educational Psychology

Faculty of Psychology, Passeig de la Vall d’Hebron 171

08035 Barcelona (Spain)

+34 93 3125141

laurabosch (at)

Research Interests


Our research is focused on the study of infant speech perception abilities, attention development and early language acquisition processes, both in normally developing infants (monolingual and bilingual) and in infants at risk for language and neurocognitive disorders. Our methodological approach is mainly behavioral, with procedures that rely on attention, visual fixation and orientation latency measures. Eye-tracking technology is used to obtain measures of attention, preference, recognition and discrimination on audiovisual language material, from sounds and syllables to words and sentences in natural speech. Electrophysiological measures have recently been added to our studies with infant populations. Behavioral testing is complemented with measures from neuropsychological testing and developmental scales.

Early language differentiation abilities, native language recognition, phonetic categorization of native and non-native speech sounds, the beginnings of word segmentation, phonological encoding and word recognition processes are but some of the areas of research that we have developed in the UB infant Lab, located next to the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. Newborns, young infants, toddlers and preschoolers are the focus of our research.

Current Research Lines


  • Speech perception.
  • Language learning
  • Cognitive development
  • Bilingualism
  • Audiovisual language processing

Technologies / methods


  • Behavioral methods for the study of infant speech perception and language learning.
  • Eye-tracking technology
  • EEG/ERP technology

Highlighted publications


· François, C., Ripollés, P., Bosch, L., Garcia-Alix, A., Muchart, J., Sierpowska, J., … & Rodriguez-Fornells, A. (2016). Language learning and brain reorganization in a 3.5-year-old child with left perinatal stroke revealed using structural and functional connectivity. Cortex, 77, 95-118.


· Pons, F., Bosch, L. & Lewkowicz, D.J. (2015). Bilingualism modulates infants’ selective attention to the mouth of a talking face. Psychological Science, 26(4), 490-498.


· Ramon-Casas, M., Bosch, L., Iriondo, M. & Krauel, X. (2013). Measurement of word recognition in very low birth weight preterms. Early Human Development, 89, 55-63.


· Bosch, L., Figueras, M., Teixidó, M. & Ramon-Casas, M. (2013). Rapid gains in segmenting fluent speech when words match the rhythmic unit: evidence from infants acquiring syllable-timed languages. Frontiers in Psychology.


· Bosch, L. (2011). Precursors to language in preterm infants: speech perception abilities in the first year of life. In O. Braddick, J. Atkinson & G. Innocenti (Eds.) Gene Expression to Neurobiology and Behavior: Human Brain Development and Developmental Disorders. Progress in Brain Research, vol., 189, chapter 14, pp. 239-257.