Document Detail


Twelve-month-old infants recognize that speech can communicate unobservable intentions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22826217     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Much of our knowledge is acquired not from direct experience but through the speech of others. Speech allows rapid and efficient transfer of information that is otherwise not directly observable. Do infants recognize that speech, even if unfamiliar, can communicate about an important aspect of the world that cannot be directly observed: a person's intentions? Twelve-month-olds saw a person (the Communicator) attempt but fail to achieve a target action (stacking a ring on a funnel). The Communicator subsequently directed either speech or a nonspeech vocalization to another person (the Recipient) who had not observed the attempts. The Recipient either successfully stacked the ring (Intended outcome), attempted but failed to stack the ring (Observable outcome), or performed a different stacking action (Related outcome). Infants recognized that speech could communicate about unobservable intentions, looking longer at Observable and Related outcomes than the Intended outcome when the Communicator used speech. However, when the Communicator used nonspeech, infants looked equally at the three outcomes. Thus, for 12-month-olds, speech can transfer information about unobservable aspects of the world such as internal mental states, which provides preverbal infants with a tool for acquiring information beyond their immediate experience.
Authors:
Athena Vouloumanos; Kristine H Onishi; Amanda Pogue
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2012-07-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-08-08     Completed Date:  2012-10-15     Revised Date:  2013-07-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  12933-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA. athena.vouloumanos@nyu.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Acoustic Stimulation
Communication*
Comprehension*
Concept Formation*
Female
Humans
Infant
Intention*
Language Development*
Male
Psychomotor Performance / physiology
Speech*
Comments/Corrections

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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