COGS 101C Lecture 6: Cogs 101C lecture 6 4.20.17

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Cognitive Science

COGS 101C: Language Development, Part II Lecture 6 42017 Transitional probability how often one syllable could follow another higher likelihood of syllables that occur within words than syllables that occur between words (like the end of one and the beginning of another) infants can segment words based on statistical cues with very little exposure this could be due to a domaingeneral ability as opposed to a language specific ability Methods in Language development research 3 methods for infants sucking habituation conditioned head turn preferential looking researchers also employ a huge number of variations on these studies what does an increasedecrease in looking time or sucking rate mean? general assumptions: if the infant has been habituated to the stimulus then the infant will look more (or suck more quickly) when presented with a novel stimulus if the infant has not been habituated, the infant will tend to look more to the preferred stimuli research question: can children perceive language while in the womb? procedure: mothers read a short story aloud every day for the last 6 weeks of pregnancy after infants were born, they were testing using a sucking procedure established a baseline by measuring 5 minutes of sucking with no stimuli present infants were then reinforced for the sucking behavior in different ways finding: the infants found the target story more reinforcing, they adjusted their sucking frequency to hear the target story more than to hear the novel story research question: can young infants differentiate between syllables? procedure: baseline sucking rate measured presention and intensity of stimulus was contingent on sucking rate as the stimulus gets played more often, sucking rate decreases (less reinforcing) after habituation, a new stimulus is played and sucking rate is measured (compared to controls, where the same sound keeps playing) after hearing the new stimulus, if the sucking rate increases or the sucking rate doesnt decrease as much as the controls, its take as evidence that the infants detected a change results: children can differentiate between different syllable sounds at a young age
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