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  Word learning in 6-month-olds: Fast encoding – weak retention

Friedrich, M., & Friederici, A. D. (2011). Word learning in 6-month-olds: Fast encoding – weak retention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(11), 3228-3240. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00002.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-585C-4 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-CC16-F
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Friedrich, Manuela1, 2, Author              
Friederici, Angela D.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
2FU Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: There has been general consensus that initial word learning during early infancy is a slow and time-consuming process that requires very frequent exposure, whereas later in development, infants are able to quickly learn a novel word for a novel meaning. From the perspective of memory maturation, this shift in behavioral development might represent a shift from slow procedural to fast declarative memory formation. Alternatively, it might be caused by the maturation of specific brain structures within the declarative memory system that may support lexical mapping from the very first. Here, we used the neurophysiological method of ERPs to watch the brain activity of 6-month-old infants, when repeatedly presented with object–word pairs in a cross-modal learning paradigm. We report first evidence that infants as young as 6 months are able to associate objects and words after only very few exposures. A memory test 1 day later showed that infants did not fully forget this newly acquired knowledge, although the ERP effects indicated it to be less stable than immediately after encoding. The combined results suggest that already at 6 months the encoding process of word learning is based on fast declarative memory formation, but limitations in the consolidation of declarative memory diminish the long lasting effect in lexical-semantic memory at that age.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 20112011-10-052011-11
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00002
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Title: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 23 (11) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 3228 - 3240 Identifier: ISSN: 0898-929X
CoNE: /journals/resource/991042752752726