Specificity and longevity of infant statistical learning
Abstract: Infants have broad sensitivities to environmental regularities. In the domain of speech perception, infants’ sensitivity to co-occurrence patterns in continuous speech has been extensively documented. Here, I examine how infants represent the sequences that are the output of these statistical learning processes. In the first series of studies, my students and I explore the indexical and suprasegmental specificity of statistically-defined words. In the second series of studies, we explore the longevity of these newly encountered word-like forms. Our findings suggest that while infants are able to generalize across a range of acoustic forms, their memories for statistically-defined words remain fragile. Finally, we explore how co-occurrence and syllable frequency information intersect with word learning and memory. Implications and future directions will be discussed.
Dr. Jessica Hay is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University Tennessee, Knoxville.
The seminar is free and open to the public.