Project Description

The Effects of Infant-Directed Singing on Infant Neural, Behavioral and Physiological Attunement

Project leaderStefanie Höhl (Universität Wien)
Project partnersDrew Abney (University of Georgia), Sam Wass (University of East London)
Project membersGabriela Markova, Trinh Nguyen, Susanne Reisner, Christina Schätz (Universität Wien)
Duration2018 - 2024


Infant-directed singing (IDS) has traditionally been divided into playsongs and lullabies, which are argued to arouse and soothe, respectively. Despite extensive research examining the effects of IDS, we have very limited knowledge about the mechanisms of early musical exchanges between infants and their caregivers. In this project, we investigate the neural, behavioral, and physiological effects of naturalistic IDS on 7-month-old infants via electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiography (ECG) measurements. Our findings will further our understanding of the mechanisms and functions of IDS.

This project is supported by the Austrian Sciene Fund (FWF) – project number W1262-B29.

Our project results

  • Nguyen, T., Reisner, S., Lueger, A., Wass, S. V., Hoehl, S., & Markova, G. (2023). Sing to me, baby: Infants show neural tracking and rhythmic movements to live and dynamic maternal singing. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 64, 101313.