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Do children (and adults) benefit from a prediction error boost in one-shot word learning?

Gambi, Chiara ORCID:, Lelonkiewicz, Jaroslaw R. and Crepaldi, Davide 2024. Do children (and adults) benefit from a prediction error boost in one-shot word learning? Journal of Cognition 7 (1) , 13. 10.5334/joc.342

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Influential theories and computational models suggest error-based learning plays an important role in language acquisition: Children learn new words by generating predictions about upcoming utterances and revising those predictions when they are erroneous. Critically, revising stronger (rather than weaker) predictions should further enhance learning. Although previously demonstrated in adults, such prediction error boost has not been conclusively shown in children. To close this gap, we tested 107 participants between the ages of 5 and 10. We found little evidence that word learning in this age group benefits from a prediction error boost. Moreover, we also failed to replicate previous evidence for such an effect in adults. Based on a detailed task analysis, we suggest the variation in adult findings may be partly explained by differences in encoding strategies and that, relatedly, the protracted development of the episodic memory system might explain why children do not experience robust benefits from having stronger (rather than weaker) predictions disconfirmed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Ubiquity Press
ISSN: 2514-4820
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 February 2024
Date of Acceptance: 22 December 2023
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 10:30

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