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

TitleLearning in reverse: eight-month-old infants track backward transitional probabilities.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsPelucchi B, Hay JF, Saffran JR
JournalCognition
Volume113
Issue2
Pagination244-7
Date Published2009 Nov
ISSN1873-7838
KeywordsAttention, Auditory Perception, Cognition, Discrimination Learning, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant Behavior, Language Development, Male, Probability, Recognition (Psychology), Speech Perception, Vocabulary
Abstract

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 to the directionality of this computation. To address this issue, we tested 8-month-old infants in a word segmentation task, using fluent speech drawn from an unfamiliar natural language. Critically, test items were distinguished solely by their backward transitional probabilities. The results provide the first evidence that infants track backward statistics in fluent speech.

DOI10.1016/j.cognition.2009.07.011
Alternate JournalCognition
PubMed ID19717144
PubMed Central IDPMC2763958
Grant ListP30 HD003352 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
F32-HD557032 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD037466 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P30HD03352 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01HD37466 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD037466-05A1 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States