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Communication-induced memory biases in preverbal infants

Yoon, J.M.D. and Johnson, Mark H. and Csibra, Gergely (2008) Communication-induced memory biases in preverbal infants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105 (36), pp. 13690-13695. ISSN 0027-8424.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0804388105

Abstract

Human teaching, a highly specialized form of cooperative information transmission, depends not only on the presence of benevolent communicators in the environment, but also on the preparedness of the students to learn from communication when it is addressed to them. We tested whether 9-month-old human infants can distinguish between communicative and noncommunicative social contexts and whether they retain qualitatively different information about novel objects in these contexts. We found that in a communicative context, infants devoted their limited memory resources to encoding the identity of novel objects at the expense of encoding their location, which is preferentially retained in noncommunicative contexts. We propose that infants' sensitivity to, and interpretation of, the social cues distinguishing infant-directed communication events represent important mechanisms of social learning by which others can help determine what information even preverbal human observers retain in memory.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): cognitive development, cultural transmission, social learning, visual short-term memory
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2011 15:10
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2013 09:52
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2328

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