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ERIC Number: EJ1043865
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Foundational Tuning: How Infants' Attention to Speech Predicts Language Development
Vouloumanos, Athena; Curtin, Suzanne
Cognitive Science, v38 n8 p1675-1686 Nov-Dec 2014
Orienting biases for speech may provide a foundation for language development. Although human infants show a bias for listening to speech from birth, the relation of a speech bias to later language development has not been established. Here, we examine whether infants' attention to speech directly predicts expressive vocabulary. Infants listened to speech or non-speech in a preferential listening procedure. Results show that infants' attention to speech at 12 months significantly predicted expressive vocabulary at 18 months, while indices of general development did not. No predictive relationships were found for infants' attention to non-speech, or overall attention to sounds, suggesting that the relationship between speech and expressive vocabulary was not a function of infants' general attentiveness. Potentially ancient evolutionary perceptual capacities such as biases for conspecific vocalizations may provide a foundation for proficiency in formal systems such as language, much like the approximate number sense may provide a foundation for formal mathematics.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A