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· 19 November 2018 ·

How infants use communicative signals

Last month I submitted my PhD at the Lancaster University. As part of the LuCiD project, I investigated how infants use communicative signals, such as addressing a child by looking at them or speaking to them in so-called infant-directed speech changes. According to Natural Pedagogy, a widely discussed theory in developmental psychology, infants come to this world with a basic sensitivity towards signals that tell them that they are communicated with—and expect that adults engaging with them will show them something meaningful to learn and apply in other contexts. The first two studies that I did as part of my PhD looked at how addressing children before showing them an action increases children’s expectation that these actions are meaningful using EEG and eye tracking. For example, children expect an adult to put a spoon to the mouth, rather than the ear. But does looking and addressing children raise their expectation that the spoon should go to the mouth?

However, there is also another way that communicative signals can be useful in action learning. An important aspect of learning an action is understanding how to break it up into small chunks that can be made sense of. Read the full article over at the Lucid Research Blog

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