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ERIC Number: EJ877734
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-3920
The Tuning of Human Neonates' Preference for Speech
Vouloumanos, Athena; Hauser, Marc D.; Werker, Janet F.; Martin, Alia
Child Development, v81 n2 p517-527 Mar-Apr 2010
Human neonates prefer listening to speech compared to many nonspeech sounds, suggesting that humans are born with a bias for speech. However, neonates' preference may derive from properties of speech that are not unique but instead are shared with the vocalizations of other species. To test this, thirty neonates and sixteen 3-month-olds were presented with nonsense speech and rhesus monkey vocalizations. Neonates showed no preference for speech over rhesus vocalizations but showed a preference for both these sounds over synthetic sounds. In contrast, 3-month-olds preferred speech to rhesus vocalizations. Neonates' initial biases minimally include speech and monkey vocalizations. These listening preferences are sharpened over 3 months, yielding a species-specific preference for speech, paralleling findings on infant face perception.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A