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ERIC Number: EJ890908
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
No Two Cues Are Alike: Depth of Learning during Infancy Is Dependent on What Orients Attention
Wu, Rachel; Kirkham, Natasha Z.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v107 n2 p118-136 Oct 2010
Human infants develop a variety of attentional mechanisms that allow them to extract relevant information from a cluttered multimodal world. We know that both social and nonsocial cues shift infants' attention, but not how these cues differentially affect learning of multimodal events. Experiment 1 used social cues to direct 8- and 4-month-olds' attention to two audiovisual events (i.e., animations of a cat or dog accompanied by particular sounds) while identical distractor events played in another location. Experiment 2 directed 8-month-olds' attention with colorful flashes to the same events. Experiment 3 measured baseline learning without attention cues both with the familiarization and test trials (no cue condition) and with only the test trials (test control condition). The 8-month-olds exposed to social cues showed specific learning of audiovisual events. The 4-month-olds displayed only general spatial learning from social cues, suggesting that specific learning of audiovisual events from social cues may be a function of experience. Infants cued with the colorful flashes looked indiscriminately to both cued locations during test (similar to the 4-month-olds learning from social cues) despite attending for equal duration to the training trials as the 8-month-olds with the social cues. Results from Experiment 3 indicated that the learning effects in Experiments 1 and 2 resulted from exposure to the different cues and multimodal events. We discuss these findings in terms of the perceptual differences and relevance of the cues. (Contains 5 figures and 1 table.)
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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