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Prediction error boosts retention of novel words in adults but not in children

Gambi, Chiara, Pickering, Martin J. and Rabagliati, Hugh 2021. Prediction error boosts retention of novel words in adults but not in children. Cognition 211 , 104650. 10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104650
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How do we update our linguistic knowledge? In seven experiments, we asked whether error-driven learning can explain under what circumstances adults and children are more likely to store and retain a new word meaning. Participants were exposed to novel object labels in the context of more or less constraining sentences or visual contexts. Both two-to-four-year-olds (Mage = 38 months) and adults were strongly affected by expectations based on sentence constraint when choosing the referent of a new label. In addition, adults formed stronger memory traces for novel words that violated a stronger prior expectation. However, preschoolers' memory was unaffected by the strength of their prior expectations. We conclude that the encoding of new word-object associations in memory is affected by prediction error in adults, but not in preschoolers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0010-0277
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 25 February 2021
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2021 14:30

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