Labels Direct Infants' Attention to Commonalities during Novel Category Learning

Althaus, Nadja and Mareschal, Denis (2014) Labels Direct Infants' Attention to Commonalities during Novel Category Learning. PLoS One, 9 (7). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Recent studies have provided evidence that labeling can influence the outcome of infants' visual categorization. However, what exactly happens during learning remains unclear. Using eye-tracking, we examined infants' attention to object parts during learning. Our analysis of looking behaviors during learning provide insights going beyond merely observing the learning outcome. Both labeling and non-labeling phrases facilitated category formation in 12-month-olds but not 8-month-olds (Experiment 1). Non-linguistic sounds did not produce this effect (Experiment 2). Detailed analyses of infants' looking patterns during learning revealed that only infants who heard labels exhibited a rapid focus on the object part successive exemplars had in common. Although other linguistic stimuli may also be beneficial for learning, it is therefore concluded that labels have a unique impact on categorization.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 Althaus, Mareschal. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2016 00:01
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2020 23:45
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/61521
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099670

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