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ERIC Number: EJ1075075
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
English- and Mandarin-Learning Infants' Discrimination of Actions and Objects in Dynamic Events
Chen, Jie; Tardif, Twila; Pulverman, Rachel; Casasola, Marianella; Zhu, Liqi; Zheng, Xiaobei; Meng, Xiangzhi
Developmental Psychology, v51 n10 p1501-1515 Oct 2015
The present studies examined the role of linguistic experience in directing English and Mandarin learners' attention to aspects of a visual scene. Specifically, they asked whether young language learners in these 2 cultures attend to differential aspects of a word-learning situation. Two groups of English and Mandarin learners, 6-8-month-olds (n = 65) and 17-19-month-olds (n = 91), participated in 2 studies, based on a habituation paradigm, designed to test infants' discrimination between actions and objects in dynamic events. In Study 1, these stimuli were presented in silence, whereas in Study 2, a verbal label accompanied videos. Results showed that 6-8-month-olds could discriminate action changes but not object changes, whereas 17-19-month-olds could discriminate both types of changes. However, there were only very subtle cross-linguistic differences in these patterns when the scenes were presented together with a verbal label. These findings show strong evidence for universal developmental trends in attention, with somewhat weaker evidence that the differences in the types of words Mandarin- versus English-learning children produce or are exposed to affect attention to different aspects of a scene in the first 2 years of life.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China (Beijing)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1R03 HD60139-01A1