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Influence of eye gaze on spoken word processing: An ERP study with infants

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Parise,  Eugenio
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Central European University, Budapest, Hungary;

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Friederici,  Angela D.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Parise, E., Handl, A., Palumbo, L., & Friederici, A. D. (2011). Influence of eye gaze on spoken word processing: An ERP study with infants. Child Development, 82(3), 842-853. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01573.x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-52CA-5
Abstract
Eye gaze is an important communicative signal, both as mutual eye contact and as referential gaze to objects. To examine whether attention to speech versus nonspeech stimuli in 4- to 5-month-olds (n = 15) varies as a function of eye gaze, event-related brain potentials were used. Faces with mutual or averted gaze were presented in combination with forward- or backward-spoken words. Infants rapidly processed gaze and spoken words in combination. A late Slow Wave suggests an interaction of the 2 factors, separating backward-spoken word + direct gaze from all other conditions. An additional experiment (n = 15) extended the results to referential gaze. The current findings suggest that interactions between visual and auditory cues are present early in infancy.