Visual dynamics of cross situational word learning, object perception, and discrimination

Colosimo, Laura Rose (2019) Visual dynamics of cross situational word learning, object perception, and discrimination. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

In order to learn a new word, young children must bring together processes of visual attention, visual looking and learning, visual binding of what is where, and processes for coordinating, forming, and updating of word-object links across multiple presentations. Recent research has explored the problem of word learning via a cross situational paradigm because it enables researchers to investigate how children learn words in the context of ambiguous presentations of multiple words and objects extended over time. More recent research has begun to explore the mechanisms at work to support successful word learning in these experiments. Through manipulations of word and object orders, research has shown that memory and attentional looking are vital components that support word learning. The aim of this thesis is to use novel stimuli with tightly controlled visual properties to better understand the process of word learning in a cross situational paradigm. Overall, the results support two perspectives into cross situational word learning; one of gradual learning through attentional looking and association building and one of preferential object driven looking (familiar/ novel). These findings were replicated across all three of our cross situational studies regardless of procedure and stimuli. Although our stimuli with tightly controlled visual properties were difficult to discriminate, we do not believe they are the sole cause of our failure to find word learning in children as a group. As our experiment on object discrimination, found that participants were able to discriminate between the stimuli. Rather we believe our failure find overall learning in the cross situational word learning task, despite three near replications, suggests that this paradigm may not support robust word learning in infants. Thus, we conclude that there is need for more investigation into how individual differences in looking dynamics, over the course of training may influence later word learning.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Gillian Aldus
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2019 12:54
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2019 12:55
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/72603
DOI:

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