Background. Learning a new word is a complex mechanism which requires the activation of different modalities (Vigliocco et al., 2016): the auditory mechanism alone does not entirely support new word learning since visual stimuli, particularly the adult’s face, also play a specific role (Swingley, 2005). Aims. This study aims to explore whether children’s vocabulary rate can be explained by the percentage of time they spend in looking towards the adult’s face when exposed to a set of words and nonwords containing familiar and non-familiar sounds. Method: Sixteen 12-15-month-old babies were video-recorded—both through a stationary camera and a head-mounted camera on their mother’s head—while being exposed to a set of audio-visual stimuli, real words (F) or non-words (NF), containing sound-stimuli that they were able (+) or not (-) to reproduce. Stimuli were chosen based on the parents’ MB-CDI answers. Their child’s looking behaviour was analysed second-by-second and their vocabulary rate was measured through the MB-CDI. Results: The vocabulary scores were significantly predicted by face looking times (F(4,9) = 4.59, p = .023) only when the children were presented with words containing sound-stimuli that they were able to reproduce (F+ and NF+, ps < .05). A descriptive test showed that children who looked longer towards the adult's face during the naturalistic task had a smaller vocabulary. Implications: This datum supports the double role of the face as a redundant and supportive mechanism for word learning, although more participants are needed to confirm these patterns.

Child’s looking behaviour towards talking faces in a naturalistic setting: Could this mechanism support novel word learning?

Bastianello T.;Majorano M.
2021

Abstract

Background. Learning a new word is a complex mechanism which requires the activation of different modalities (Vigliocco et al., 2016): the auditory mechanism alone does not entirely support new word learning since visual stimuli, particularly the adult’s face, also play a specific role (Swingley, 2005). Aims. This study aims to explore whether children’s vocabulary rate can be explained by the percentage of time they spend in looking towards the adult’s face when exposed to a set of words and nonwords containing familiar and non-familiar sounds. Method: Sixteen 12-15-month-old babies were video-recorded—both through a stationary camera and a head-mounted camera on their mother’s head—while being exposed to a set of audio-visual stimuli, real words (F) or non-words (NF), containing sound-stimuli that they were able (+) or not (-) to reproduce. Stimuli were chosen based on the parents’ MB-CDI answers. Their child’s looking behaviour was analysed second-by-second and their vocabulary rate was measured through the MB-CDI. Results: The vocabulary scores were significantly predicted by face looking times (F(4,9) = 4.59, p = .023) only when the children were presented with words containing sound-stimuli that they were able to reproduce (F+ and NF+, ps < .05). A descriptive test showed that children who looked longer towards the adult's face during the naturalistic task had a smaller vocabulary. Implications: This datum supports the double role of the face as a redundant and supportive mechanism for word learning, although more participants are needed to confirm these patterns.
audio-visual integration
language acquisition
face looking
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1053500
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