Forgetting Can Be Helpful for Learning: How Wakeful, Offline Processing Influences Infant Language Learning
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn previous work, 11-month-old infants were unable to learn rules about the relation of the consonants in CVCV words when the stimuli were randomly ordered. By chance, the randomordering of the stimuli promoted local spurious generalizations that impeded infants' learning of the phonotactic rules. This experiment asked whether a 30-second delay after exposure to a list of 24 randomly ordered words promotes learning. The 30-second delay did promote learning, though not until the third block of testing, suggesting that a longer delay might have shown a more robust effect. The interaction between conformity and block did not approach significance. However, t-tests performed on each of the three blocks revealed that in the third block, infants displayed a novelty preference, wherein they listened longer to stimuli that did not conform to their familiarization rule than the stimuli that conformed to their familiarization rule. Additionally, there is a trend toward an interaction between the previous experiment (no delay) and the current experiment (30-sec delay), suggesting that the 30-second delay may have made a difference in infants' behavior.
Degree ProgramHonors College