Publications

  • Absolute pitch in infant auditory learning: evidence for developmental reorganization.

    J R. Saffran; G J. Griepentrog
    2001
    Journal Article

    To what extent do infants represent the absolute pitches of complex auditory stimuli? Two experiments with 8-month-old infants examined the use of absolute and relative pitch cues in a tone-sequence statistical learning task. The results suggest that, given unsegmented stimuli that do not conform to the rules of musical composition, infants are...

  • The acquisition of language by children.

    J R. Saffran; A Senghas; J C. Trueswell
    2001
    Journal Article
  • All together now: concurrent learning of multiple structures in an artificial language.

    Alexa R. Romberg; Jenny R. Saffran
    2013
    Journal Article

    Natural languages contain many layers of sequential structure, from the distribution of phonemes within words to the distribution of phrases within utterances. However, most research modeling language acquisition using artificial languages has focused on only one type of distributional structure at a time. In two experiments, we investigated...

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  • All words are not created equal: expectations about word length guide infant statistical learning.

    Casey Lew-Williams; Jenny R. Saffran
    2012
    Journal Article

    Infants have been described as 'statistical learners' capable of extracting structure (such as words) from patterned input (such as language). Here, we investigated whether prior knowledge influences how infants track transitional probabilities in word segmentation tasks. Are infants biased by prior experience when engaging in sequential...

  • Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective

    Michael A. Cook
    2014
    Book

    "Why does Islam play a larger role in contemporary politics than other religions? Is there something about the Islamic heritage that makes Muslims more likely than adherents of other faiths to invoke it in their political life? If so, what is it? Ancient Religions, Modern Politics seeks to answer these questions by examining the roles of Islam...

  • Anticipatory coarticulation facilitates word recognition in toddlers.

    Tristan Mahr; Brianna T.M. McMillan; Jenny R. Saffran; Susan Ellis Weismer; Jan Edwards
    2015
    Journal Article

    Children learn from their environments and their caregivers. To capitalize on learning opportunities, young children have to recognize familiar words efficiently by integrating contextual cues across word boundaries. Previous research has shown that adults can use phonetic cues from anticipatory coarticulation during word recognition. We asked...

  • Apparent motion enhances visual rhythm discrimination in infancy.

    Melissa Brandon; Jenny R. Saffran
    2011
    Journal Article

    Many studies have demonstrated that infants exhibit robust auditory rhythm discrimination, but research on infants' perception of visual rhythm is limited. In particular, the role of motion in infants' perception of visual rhythm remains unknown, despite the prevalence of motion cues in naturally occurring visual rhythms. In the present study,...

  • Bacterial quorum sensing: its role in virulence and possibilities for its control.

    Steven T. Rutherford; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2012
    Journal Article

    Quorum sensing is a process of cell-cell communication that allows bacteria to share information about cell density and adjust gene expression accordingly. This process enables bacteria to express energetically expensive processes as a collective only when the impact of those processes on the environment or on a host will be maximized. Among...

  • Bacterial small-molecule signaling pathways.

    Andrew Camilli; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2006
    Journal Article

    Bacteria use diverse small molecules for extra- and intracellular signaling. They scan small-molecule mixtures to access information about both their extracellular environment and their intracellular physiological status, and based on this information, they continuously interpret their circumstances and react rapidly to changes. Bacteria must...

  • Biofilm streamers cause catastrophic disruption of flow with consequences for environmental and medical systems.

    Knut Drescher; Yi Shen; Bonnie L. Bassler; Howard A. Stone
    2013
    Journal Article

    Biofilms are antibiotic-resistant, sessile bacterial communities that occupy most moist surfaces on Earth and cause chronic and medical device-associated infections. Despite their importance, basic information about biofilm dynamics in common ecological environments is lacking. Here, we demonstrate that flow through soil-like porous materials,...

  • Brief Report: Early Lexical Comprehension in Young Children with ASD: Comparing Eye-Gaze Methodology and Parent Report.

    Courtney E. Venker; Eileen Haebig; Jan Edwards; Jenny R. Saffran; Susan Ellis Weismer
    2016
    Journal Article

    Lexical comprehension is commonly measured by parent report, but it may be difficult for parents of children with ASD to accurately judge their child's comprehension. We compared parent report to an eye-gaze measure of lexical comprehension in which participants observed pairs of images on a screen, along with accompanying speech that named one...

  • Can infants map meaning to newly segmented words? Statistical segmentation and word learning.

    Katharine Graf Estes; Julia L. Evans; Martha W. Alibali; Jenny R. Saffran
    2007
    Journal Article

    The present experiments investigated how the process of statistically segmenting words from fluent speech is linked to the process of mapping meanings to words. Seventeen-month-old infants first participated in a statistical word segmentation task, which was immediately followed by an object-label-learning task. Infants presented with labels...

  • Changing the tune: the structure of the input affects infants' use of absolute and relative pitch.

    Jenny R. Saffran; Karelyn Reeck; Aimee Niebuhr; Diana Wilson
    2005
    Journal Article

    Sequences of notes contain several different types of pitch cues, including both absolute and relative pitch information. What factors determine which of these cues are used when learning about tone sequences? Previous research suggests that infants tend to preferentially process absolute pitch patterns in continuous tone sequences, while other...

  • Chemical communication among bacteria.

    Michiko E. Taga; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2003
    Journal Article

    Cell-cell communication in bacteria is accomplished through the exchange of chemical signal molecules called autoinducers. This process, called quorum sensing, allows bacteria to monitor their environment for the presence of other bacteria and to respond to fluctuations in the number and/or species present by altering particular behaviors. Most...

  • Connecting cues: overlapping regularities support cue discovery in infancy.

    Sarah D. Sahni; Mark S. Seidenberg; Jenny R. Saffran
    2010
    Journal Article

    The present work examined the discovery of linguistic cues during a word segmentation task. Whereas previous studies have focused on sensitivity to individual cues, this study addresses how individual cues may be used to discover additional, correlated cues. Twenty-four 9-month-old infants were familiarized with a speech stream in which...

  • Distributional structure in language: contributions to noun-verb difficulty differences in infant word recognition.

    Jon A. Willits; Mark S. Seidenberg; Jenny R. Saffran
    2014
    Journal Article

    What makes some words easy for infants to recognize, and other words difficult? We addressed this issue in the context of prior results suggesting that infants have difficulty recognizing verbs relative to nouns. In this work, we highlight the role played by the distributional contexts in which nouns and verbs occur. Distributional statistics...

  • Dog is a dog is a dog: infant rule learning is not specific to language.

    Jenny R. Saffran; Seth D. Pollak; Rebecca L. Seibel; Anna Shkolnik
    2007
    Journal Article

    Human infants possess powerful learning mechanisms used for the acquisition of language. To what extent are these mechanisms domain specific? One well-known infant language learning mechanism is the ability to detect and generalize rule-like similarity patterns, such as ABA or ABB [Marcus, G. F., Vijayan, S., Rao, S. B., & Vishton, P. M. (...

  • Emerging integration of sequential and suprasegmental information in preverbal speech segmentation.

    J L. Morgan; J R. Saffran
    1995
    Journal Article

    5 studies examined contributions of syllable-ordering and rhythmic properties of syllable strings to 6- and 9-month-old infants' speech segmentation. A pair of methods measuring complementary properties of representational units was used: a noise detection task sensitive to perceived cohesiveness of pairs of syllables, and a discrimination...

  • Environmental fluctuation governs selection for plasticity in biofilm production.

    Jing Yan; Carey D. Nadell; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2017
    Journal Article

    Bacteria can grow in a free-swimming state, as planktonic cells, or in surface-attached communities, termed biofilms. The planktonic and biofilm growth modes differ dramatically with respect to spatial constraints, nutrient access, population density and cell-cell interactions. Fitness trade-offs underlie how successfully bacteria compete in...

  • Expectancy learning from probabilistic input by infants.

    Alexa R. Romberg; Jenny R. Saffran
    2012
    Journal Article

    Across the first few years of life, infants readily extract many kinds of regularities from their environment, and this ability is thought to be central to development in a number of domains. Numerous studies have documented infants' ability to recognize deterministic sequential patterns. However, little is known about the processes infants use...

  • Exposure to multiple accents supports infants' understanding of novel accents.

    Christine E. Potter; Jenny R. Saffran
    2017
    Journal Article

    Accented speech poses a challenge for listeners, particularly those with limited knowledge of their language. In a series of studies, we explored the possibility that experience with variability, specifically the variability provided by multiple accents, would facilitate infants' comprehension of speech produced with an unfamiliar accent. 15-...

  • Extracellular matrix structure governs invasion resistance in bacterial biofilms.

    Carey D. Nadell; Knut Drescher; Ned S. Wingreen; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2015
    Journal Article

    Many bacteria are highly adapted for life in communities, or biofilms. A defining feature of biofilms is the production of extracellular matrix that binds cells together. The biofilm matrix provides numerous fitness benefits, including protection from environmental stresses and enhanced nutrient availability. Here we investigate defense against...

  • Filaments in curved streamlines: Rapid formation of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm streamers.

    Minyoung Kevin Kim; Knut Drescher; On Shun Pak; Bonnie L. Bassler; Howard A. Stone
    2014
    Journal Article

    Biofilms are surface-associated conglomerates of bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics. These bacterial communities can cause chronic infections in humans by colonizing, for example, medical implants, heart valves, or lungs. Staphylococcus aureus, a notorious human pathogen, causes some of the most common biofilm-related infections...

  • A fitness trade-off between local competition and dispersal in Vibrio cholerae biofilms.

    Carey D. Nadell; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2011
    Journal Article

    Bacteria commonly grow in densely populated surface-bound communities, termed biofilms, where they gain benefits including superior access to nutrients and resistance to environmental insults. The secretion of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which bind bacterial collectives together, is ubiquitously associated with biofilm formation....

  • Flow environment and matrix structure interact to determine spatial competition in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.

    Carey D. Nadell; Deirdre Ricaurte; Jing Yan; Knut Drescher; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2017
    Journal Article

    Bacteria often live in biofilms, which are microbial communities surrounded by a secreted extracellular matrix. Here, we demonstrate that hydrodynamic flow and matrix organization interact to shape competitive dynamics in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms. Irrespective of initial frequency, in competition with matrix mutants, wild-type cells...

  • From flexibility to constraint: the contrastive use of lexical tone in early word learning.

    Jessica F. Hay; Katharine Graf Estes; Tianlin Wang; Jenny R. Saffran
    2015
    Journal Article

    Infants must develop both flexibility and constraint in their interpretation of acceptable word forms. The current experiments examined the development of infants' lexical interpretation of non-native variations in pitch contour. Fourteen-, 17-, and 19-month-olds (Experiments 1 and 2, N = 72) heard labels for two novel objects; labels contained...

  • From statistics to meaning: infants' acquisition of lexical categories.

    Jill Lany; Jenny R. Saffran
    2010
    Journal Article

    Infants are highly sensitive to statistical patterns in their auditory language input that mark word categories (e.g., noun and verb). However, it is unknown whether experience with these cues facilitates the acquisition of semantic properties of word categories. In a study testing this hypothesis, infants first listened to an artificial...

  • How the melody facilitates the message and vice versa in infant learning and memory.

    Erik D. Thiessen; Jenny R. Saffran
    2009
    Journal Article

    Infants are often presented with input in which there are multiple related regularities, as is the case in musical input with both melodic and lyrical structure. Adult learners often learn more easily from complex input containing multiple correlated regularities than from simplified input. Do infants also capitalize on complexity, or instead...

  • Idiomatic syntactic constructions and language learning.

    Michael P. Kaschak; Jenny R. Saffran
    2006
    Journal Article

    This article explores the influence of idiomatic syntactic constructions (i.e., constructions whose phrase structure rules violate the rules that underlie the construction of other kinds of sentences in the language) on the acquisition of phrase structure. In Experiment 1, participants were trained on an artificial language generated from...

  • Individual differences in the real-time comprehension of children with ASD.

    Courtney E. Venker; Elizabeth R. Eernisse; Jenny R. Saffran; Susan Ellis Weismer
    2013
    Journal Article

    Many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) demonstrate deficits in language comprehension, but little is known about how they process spoken language as it unfolds. Real-time lexical comprehension is associated with language and cognition in children without ASD, suggesting that this may also be the case for children with ASD. This...

  • Infant long-term memory for music.

    J R. Saffran; M M. Loman; R R. Robertson
    2001
    Journal Article
  • Infant memory for musical experiences.

    J R. Saffran; M M. Loman; R R. Robertson
    2000
    Journal Article

    Recent findings suggest that infants can remember words from stories over 2 week delays (Jusczyk, P. W., & Hohne, E. A. (1997). Infants' memory for spoken words. Science, 277, 1984-1986). Because music, like language, presents infants with a massively complex auditory learning task, it is possible that infant memory for musical stimuli is...

  • Infants with Williams syndrome detect statistical regularities in continuous speech.

    Cara H. Cashon; Oh-Ryeong Ha; Katharine Graf Estes; Jenny R. Saffran; Carolyn B. Mervis
    2016
    Journal Article

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare genetic disorder associated with delays in language and cognitive development. The reasons for the language delay are unknown. Statistical learning is a domain-general mechanism recruited for early language acquisition. In the present study, we investigated whether infants with WS were able to detect the...

  • Interactions between statistical and semantic information in infant language development.

    Jill Lany; Jenny R. Saffran
    2011
    Journal Article

    Infants can use statistical regularities to form rudimentary word categories (e.g. noun, verb), and to learn the meanings common to words from those categories. Using an artificial language methodology, we probed the mechanisms by which two types of statistical cues (distributional and phonological regularities) affect word learning. Because...

  • Isolated words enhance statistical language learning in infancy.

    Casey Lew-Williams; Bruna Pelucchi; Jenny R. Saffran
    2011
    Journal Article

    Infants are adept at tracking statistical regularities to identify word boundaries in pause-free speech. However, researchers have questioned the relevance of statistical learning mechanisms to language acquisition, since previous studies have used simplified artificial languages that ignore the variability of real language input. The...

  • Learning harmony: the role of serial statistics.

    Erin McMullen Jonaitis; Jenny R. Saffran
    2009
    Journal Article

    How do listeners learn about the statistical regularities underlying musical harmony? In traditional Western music, certain chords predict the occurrence of other chords: Given a particular chord, not all chords are equally likely to follow. In Experiments 1 and 2, we investigated whether adults make use of statistical information when learning...

  • Learning in Complex Environments: The Effects of Background Speech on Early Word Learning.

    Brianna T.M. McMillan; Jenny R. Saffran
    2016
    Journal Article

    Although most studies of language learning take place in quiet laboratory settings, everyday language learning occurs under noisy conditions. The current research investigated the effects of background speech on word learning. Both younger (22- to 24-month-olds; n = 40) and older (28- to 30-month-olds; n = 40) toddlers successfully learned...

  • Learning in reverse: eight-month-old infants track backward transitional probabilities.

    Bruna Pelucchi; Jessica F. Hay; Jenny R. Saffran
    2009
    Journal Article

    Numerous recent studies suggest that human learners, including both infants and adults, readily track sequential statistics computed between adjacent elements. One such statistic, transitional probability, is typically calculated as the likelihood that one element predicts another. However, little is known about whether listeners are sensitive...

  • Ligand-induced asymmetry in histidine sensor kinase complex regulates quorum sensing.

    Matthew B. Neiditch; Michael J. Federle; Audra J. Pompeani; Robert C. Kelly; Danielle L. Swem; Philip D. Jeffrey; Bonnie L. Bassler; Frederick M. Hughson
    2006
    Journal Article

    Bacteria sense their environment using receptors of the histidine sensor kinase family, but how kinase activity is regulated by ligand binding is not well understood. Autoinducer-2 (AI-2), a secreted signaling molecule originally identified in studies of the marine bacterium Vibrio harveyi, regulates quorum-sensing responses and allows...

  • Linking sounds to meanings: infant statistical learning in a natural language.

    Jessica F. Hay; Bruna Pelucchi; Katharine Graf Estes; Jenny R. Saffran
    2011
    Journal Article

    The processes of infant word segmentation and infant word learning have largely been studied separately. However, the ease with which potential word forms are segmented from fluent speech seems likely to influence subsequent mappings between words and their referents. To explore this process, we tested the link between the statistical coherence...

  • Mapping sound to meaning: connections between learning about sounds and learning about words.

    Jenny R. Saffran; Katharine Graf Estes
    2006
    Journal Article
  • Musical learning and language development.

    Jenny R. Saffran
    2003
    Journal Article

    How do infant learners acquire structure, given complex environments? In this chapter, we consider the role played by statistical learning-tracking patterns in the environment-in the acquisition of language and music. The results from a series of experiments suggest that similar learning mechanisms may operate in both domains, but that these...

  • Neuroscience. Does grammar start where statistics stop?

    Mark S. Seidenberg; Maryellen C. MacDonald; Jenny R. Saffran
    2002
    Journal Article
  • The ontogeny of lexical networks: toddlers encode the relationships among referents when learning novel words.

    Erica H. Wojcik; Jenny R. Saffran
    2013
    Journal Article

    Although the semantic relationships among words have long been acknowledged as a crucial component of adult lexical knowledge, the ontogeny of lexical networks remains largely unstudied. To determine whether learners encode relationships among novel words, we trained 2-year-olds on four novel words that referred to four novel objects, which...

  • Pattern induction by infant language learners.

    Jenny R. Saffran; Erik D. Thiessen
    2003
    Journal Article

    How do infants learn the sound patterns of their native language? By the end of the 1st year, infants have acquired detailed aspects of the phonology and phonotactics of their input language. However, the structure of the learning mechanisms underlying this process is largely unknown. In this study, 9-month-old infants were given the...

  • Phonotactic constraints on infant word learning.

    Katharine Graf Estes; Jan Edwards; Jenny R. Saffran
    2011
    Journal Article

    How do infants use their knowledge of native language sound patterns when learning words? There is ample evidence of infants' precocious acquisition of native language sound structure during the first years of life, but much less evidence concerning how they apply this knowledge to the task of associating sounds with meanings in word learning....

  • Is a Pink Cow Still a Cow? Individual Differences in Toddlers' Vocabulary Knowledge and Lexical Representations.

    Lynn K. Perry; Jenny R. Saffran
    2017
    Journal Article

    When a toddler knows a word, what does she actually know? Many categories have multiple relevant properties; for example, shape and color are relevant to membership in the category banana. How do toddlers prioritize these properties when recognizing familiar words, and are there systematic differences among children? In this study, toddlers...

  • Quorum sensing: cell-to-cell communication in bacteria.

    Christopher M. Waters; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2005
    Journal Article

    Bacteria communicate with one another using chemical signal molecules. As in higher organisms, the information supplied by these molecules is critical for synchronizing the activities of large groups of cells. In bacteria, chemical communication involves producing, releasing, detecting, and responding to small hormone-like molecules termed...

  • Quorum sensing controls biofilm formation in Vibrio cholerae through modulation of cyclic di-GMP levels and repression of vpsT.

    Christopher M. Waters; Wenyun Lu; Joshua D. Rabinowitz; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2008
    Journal Article

    Two chemical signaling systems, quorum sensing (QS) and 3',5'-cyclic diguanylic acid (c-di-GMP), reciprocally control biofilm formation in Vibrio cholerae. QS is the process by which bacteria communicate via the secretion and detection of autoinducers, and in V. cholerae, QS represses biofilm formation. c-di-GMP is an intracellular second...

  • Quorum sensing controls the Pseudomonas aeruginosa CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system.

    Nina M. Høyland-Kroghsbo; Jon Paczkowski; Sampriti Mukherjee; Jenny Broniewski; Edze Westra; Joseph Bondy-Denomy; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2017
    Journal Article

    CRISPR-Cas are prokaryotic adaptive immune systems that provide protection against bacteriophage (phage) and other parasites. Little is known about how CRISPR-Cas systems are regulated, preventing prediction of phage dynamics in nature and manipulation of phage resistance in clinical settings. Here, we show that the bacterium Pseudomonas...

  • Quorum-sensing regulators control virulence gene expression in Vibrio cholerae.

    Jun Zhu; Melissa B. Miller; Russell E. Vance; Michelle Dziejman; Bonnie L. Bassler; John J. Mekalanos
    2002
    Journal Article

    The production of virulence factors including cholera toxin and the toxin-coregulated pilus in the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae is strongly influenced by environmental conditions. The well-characterized ToxR signal transduction cascade is responsible for sensing and integrating the environmental information and controlling the virulence...

  • Regulation of LuxPQ receptor activity by the quorum-sensing signal autoinducer-2.

    Matthew B. Neiditch; Michael J. Federle; Stephen T. Miller; Bonnie L. Bassler; Frederick M. Hughson
    2005
    Journal Article

    The extracellular signaling molecule autoinducer-2 (AI-2) mediates quorum-sensing communication in diverse bacterial species. In marine vibrios, binding of AI-2 to the periplasmic receptor LuxP modulates the activity of the inner membrane sensor kinase LuxQ, transducing the AI-2 information into the cytoplasm. Here, we show that Vibrio harveyi...

  • Rhythmic grouping biases constrain infant statistical learning.

    Jessica F. Hay; Jenny R. Saffran
    2012
    Journal Article

    Linguistic stress and sequential statistical cues to word boundaries interact during speech segmentation in infancy. However, little is known about how the different acoustic components of stress constrain statistical learning. The current studies were designed to investigate whether intensity and duration each function independently as cues to...

  • The role of experience in children's discrimination of unfamiliar languages.

    Christine E. Potter; Jenny R. Saffran
    2015
    Journal Article

    Five- and six-year-old children (n = 160) participated in three studies designed to explore language discrimination. After an initial exposure period (during which children heard either an unfamiliar language, a familiar language, or music), children performed an ABX discrimination task involving two unfamiliar languages that were either...

  • Roses Are Red, Socks Are Blue: Switching Dimensions Disrupts Young Children's Language Comprehension.

    Ron Pomper; Jenny R. Saffran
    2016
    Journal Article

    Language is used to identify objects in many different ways. An apple can be identified using its name, color, and other attributes. Skilled language comprehension requires listeners to flexibly shift between different dimensions. We asked whether this shifting would be difficult for 3-year-olds, who have relatively immature executive function...

  • Second Language Experience Facilitates Statistical Learning of Novel Linguistic Materials.

    Christine E. Potter; Tianlin Wang; Jenny R. Saffran
    2017
    Journal Article

    Recent research has begun to explore individual differences in statistical learning, and how those differences may be related to other cognitive abilities, particularly their effects on language learning. In this research, we explored a different type of relationship between language learning and statistical learning: the possibility that...

  • Solutions to the public goods dilemma in bacterial biofilms.

    Knut Drescher; Carey D. Nadell; Howard A. Stone; Ned S. Wingreen; Bonnie L. Bassler
    2014
    Journal Article

    Bacteria frequently live in densely populated surface-bound communities, termed biofilms [1-4]. Biofilm-dwelling cells rely on secretion of extracellular substances to construct their communities and to capture nutrients from the environment [5]. Some secreted factors behave as cooperative public goods: they can be exploited by nonproducing...

  • Spectral tilt as a cue to word segmentation in infancy and adulthood.

    Erik D. Thiessen; Jenny R. Saffran
    2004
    Journal Article

    Across a variety of tasks, adults respond differently to syllables with multiple stress cues than to syllables with only one cue to stress. This series of experiments was designed to explore how infants and adults use partial stress as a cue to word boundaries. In the first experiment, 9-month-old infants treated syllables with only one cue to...

  • Spoken word recognition in toddlers who use cochlear implants.

    Tina M. Grieco-Calub; Jenny R. Saffran; Ruth Y. Litovsky
    2009
    Journal Article

    PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the time course of spoken word recognition in 2-year-old children who use cochlear implants (CIs) in quiet and in the presence of speech competitors.

    METHOD: Children who use CIs and age-matched peers with normal acoustic hearing listened to familiar auditory labels, in quiet or in the...

  • Statistical learning and language acquisition.

    Alexa R. Romberg; Jenny R. Saffran
    2010
    Journal Article

    Human learners, including infants, are highly sensitive to structure in their environment. Statistical learning refers to the process of extracting this structure. A major question in language acquisition in the past few decades has been the extent to which infants use statistical learning mechanisms to acquire their native language. There have...

  • Statistical learning by 8-month-old infants.

    J R. Saffran; R N. Aslin; E L. Newport
    1996
    Journal Article

    Learners rely on a combination of experience-independent and experience-dependent mechanisms to extract information from the environment. Language acquisition involves both types of mechanisms, but most theorists emphasize the relative importance of experience-independent mechanisms. The present study shows that a fundamental task of language...

  • Statistical learning in a natural language by 8-month-old infants.

    Bruna Pelucchi; Jessica F. Hay; Jenny R. Saffran
    2009
    Journal Article

    Numerous studies over the past decade support the claim that infants are equipped with powerful statistical language learning mechanisms. The primary evidence for statistical language learning in word segmentation comes from studies using artificial languages, continuous streams of synthesized syllables that are highly simplified relative to...

  • Statistical learning in children with specific language impairment.

    Julia L. Evans; Jenny R. Saffran; Kathryn Robe-Torres
    2009
    Journal Article

    PURPOSE: In this study, the authors examined (a) whether children with specific language impairment (SLI) can implicitly compute the probabilities of adjacent sound sequences, (b) if this ability is related to degree of exposure, (c) if it is domain specific or domain general and, (d) if it is related to vocabulary.

    METHOD: Children with...

  • Statistical learning of a tonal language: the influence of bilingualism and previous linguistic experience.

    Tianlin Wang; Jenny R. Saffran
    2014
    Journal Article

    While research shows that adults attend to both segmental and suprasegmental regularities in speech, including syllabic transitional probabilities as well as stress and intonational patterns, little is known about how statistical learning operates given input from tonal languages. In the current study, we designed an artificial tone language to...

  • Statistical learning of tone sequences by human infants and adults.

    J R. Saffran; E K. Johnson; R N. Aslin; E L. Newport
    1999
    Journal Article

    Previous research suggests that language learners can detect and use the statistical properties of syllable sequences to discover words in continuous speech (e.g. Aslin, R.N., Saffran, J.R., Newport, E.L., 1998. Computation of conditional probability statistics by 8-month-old infants. Psychological Science 9, 321-324; Saffran, J.R., Aslin, R.N...

  • Statistical word learning in children with autism spectrum disorder and specific language impairment.

    Eileen Haebig; Jenny R. Saffran; Susan Ellis Weismer
    2017
    Journal Article

    BACKGROUND: Word learning is an important component of language development that influences child outcomes across multiple domains. Despite the importance of word knowledge, word-learning mechanisms are poorly understood in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examined...

  • Toddlers Activate Lexical Semantic Knowledge in the Absence of Visual Referents: Evidence from Auditory Priming.

    Jon A. Willits; Erica H. Wojcik; Mark S. Seidenberg; Jenny R. Saffran
    2013
    Journal Article

    Language learners rapidly acquire extensive semantic knowledge, but the development of this knowledge is difficult to study, in part because it is difficult to assess young children's lexical semantic representations. In our studies, we solved this problem by investigating lexical semantic knowledge in 24-month-olds using the Head-turn...

  • Toddlers encode similarities among novel words from meaningful sentences.

    Erica H. Wojcik; Jenny R. Saffran
    2015
    Journal Article

    Toddlers can learn about the meanings of individual words from the structure and semantics of the sentences in which they are embedded. However, it remains unknown whether toddlers encode similarities among novel words based on their positions within sentences. In three experiments, two-year-olds listened to novel words embedded in familiar...

  • When cues collide: use of stress and statistical cues to word boundaries by 7- to 9-month-old infants.

    Erik D. Thiessen; Jenny R. Saffran
    2003
    Journal Article

    Prior research suggests that stress cues are particularly important for English-hearing infants' detection of word boundaries. It is unclear, though, how infants learn to attend to stress as a cue to word segmentation. This series of experiments was designed to explore infants' attention to conflicting cues at different ages. Experiment 1...

  • Words in a sea of sounds: the output of infant statistical learning.

    J R. Saffran
    2001
    Journal Article

    One of the first problems confronting infant language learners is word segmentation: discovering the boundaries between words. Prior research suggests that 8-month-old infants can detect the statistical patterns that serve as a cue to word boundaries. However, the representational structure of the output of this learning process is unknown....