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    Fourteen-month-old infants track the language comprehension of communicative partners

    Forgács, B. and Parise, E. and Csibra, Gergely and Gergely, G. and Jacquey, L. and Gervain, J. (2018) Fourteen-month-old infants track the language comprehension of communicative partners. Developmental Science 22 (2), e12751. ISSN 1363-755x.

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    Abstract

    Infants employ sophisticated mechanisms to acquire their first language, including some that rely on taking the perspective of adults as speakers or listeners. When do infants first show awareness of what other people understand? We tested 14-month-old infants in two experiments measuring event-related potentials. In Experiment 1, we established that infants produce the N400 effect, a brain signature of semantic violations, in a live object naming paradigm in the presence of an adult observer. In Experiment 2, we induced false beliefs about the labelled objects in the adult observer to test whether infants keep track of the other person’s comprehension. The results revealed that infants reacted to the semantic incongruity heard by the other as if they encountered it themselves: they exhibited an N400-like response, even though labels were congruous from their perspective. This finding demonstrates that infants track the linguistic understanding of social partners.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Gergely Csibra
    Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2018 14:42
    Last Modified: 13 Oct 2019 16:51
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/23771

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