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Labels affect infants' object representations

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date25/08/2016
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event1st Lancaster Conference on Infant and Child Development - Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 25/08/201627/08/2016
Conference number: 1


Conference1st Lancaster Conference on Infant and Child Development
Abbreviated titleLCICD
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Infants rapidly learn both linguistic and nonlinguistic representations of their environment, and begin to link these from around six months. While there is an increasing body of evidence for the effect of labels heard in-task on infants’ online processing, whether – as in adults – infants’ learned linguistic representations shape learned nonlinguistic representations is unclear. In the current study 10-month-old infants were trained over the course of a week with two 3D objects, one labeled and one unlabeled. Infants then took part in a looking time task in which 2D images of the objects were presented individually in a silent familiarization phase, followed by a preferential looking test trial. Infants looked for longer at the previously labeled stimulus than the unlabeled stimulus, and individual differences indicated that more than half of these young infants responded correctly to the label on the test trial. We interpret these results in terms of label activation and novelty preference accounts, and discuss implications for our understanding of early representational structure.