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  • Althaus_Westermann_JECP2015_author_accepted

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 151, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2015.11.013

    Accepted author manuscript, 891 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

  • 1-s2.0-S0022096515002891-main

    Rights statement: Open Access funded by Economic and Social Research Council Under a Creative Commons license

    Final published version, 542 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Labels constructively shape object categories in 10-month-old infants

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume151
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)5-17
Publication statusPublished
Early online date6/01/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

How do infants’ emerging language abilities impact on their organization of objects into categories? The question of whether labels can shape the early perceptual categories formed by young infants has received considerable attention, but evidence has remained inconclusive. Here, ten-month-old infants (N=80) were familiarized with a series of morphed stimuli along a continuum that can be seen as either one category or two. Infants formed one category when the stimuli were presented in silence or paired with the same label, but they divided the stimulus set into two categories when half of the stimuli were paired with one label and half with another. Pairing the stimuli with two different non-linguistic sounds did not lead to the same result. In this case infants showed evidence for the formation of a single category, indicating that non-linguistic sounds do not cause infants to divide a category. These results suggest that labels and visual perceptual information interact in category formation, with labels having the potential to constructively shape category structures already in preverbal infants, and that non-linguistic sounds do not have the same effect.

Bibliographic note

Open Access funded by Economic and Social Research Council Under a Creative Commons license