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ERIC Number: EJ856742
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
Can Infants Use a Nonhuman Agent's Gaze Direction to Establish Word-Object Relations?
O'Connell, Laura; Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Demke, Tamara; Guay, Amanda
Infancy, v14 n4 p414-438 2009
Adopting a procedure developed with human speakers, we examined infants' ability to follow a nonhuman agent's gaze direction and subsequently to use its gaze to learn new words. When a programmable robot acted as the speaker (Experiment 1), infants followed its gaze toward the word referent whether or not it coincided with their own focus of attention, but failed to learn a new word. When the speaker was human, infants correctly mapped the words (Experiment 2). Furthermore, when the robot interacted contingently, this did not facilitate infants' word mapping (Experiment 3). These findings suggest that gaze following upon hearing a novel word is not sufficient to learn the referent of the word when the speaker is nonhuman. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A