Second Language Experience Facilitates Statistical Learning of Novel Linguistic Materials.

TitleSecond Language Experience Facilitates Statistical Learning of Novel Linguistic Materials.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPotter CE, Wang T, Saffran JR
JournalCogn Sci
Volume41 Suppl 4
Pagination913-927
Date Published2017 Apr
ISSN1551-6709
Abstract

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 learning a new language may also influence statistical learning by changing the regularities to which learners are sensitive. We tested two groups of participants, Mandarin Learners and Naïve Controls, at two time points, 6 months apart. At each time point, participants performed two different statistical learning tasks: an artificial tonal language statistical learning task and a visual statistical learning task. Only the Mandarin-learning group showed significant improvement on the linguistic task, whereas both groups improved equally on the visual task. These results support the view that there are multiple influences on statistical learning. Domain-relevant experiences may affect the regularities that learners can discover when presented with novel stimuli.

DOI10.1111/cogs.12473
Alternate JournalCogn Sci
PubMed ID27988939
PubMed Central IDPMC5407950
Grant ListP30 HD003352 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD037466 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R37 HD037466 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States