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

Gambi, Chiara ORCID:, 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: 07 Nov 2023 22:24

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