Rapid recognition at 10 months as a predictor of language development

Junge, C., Kooijman, V., Hagoort, P., & Cutler, A. (2012). Rapid recognition at 10 months as a predictor of language development. Developmental Science, 15, 463-473. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.1144.x.
Infants’ ability to recognize words in continuous speech is vital for building a vocabulary.We here examined the amount and type
of exposure needed for 10-month-olds to recognize words. Infants first heard a word, either embedded within an utterance or in
isolation, then recognition was assessed by comparing event-related potentials to this word versus a word that they had not heard
directly before. Although all 10-month-olds showed recognition responses to words first heard in isolation, not all infants showed
such responses to words they had first heard within an utterance. Those that did succeed in the latter, harder, task, however,
understood more words and utterances when re-tested at 12 months, and understood more words and produced more words at
24 months, compared with those who had shown no such recognition response at 10 months. The ability to rapidly recognize the
words in continuous utterances is clearly linked to future language development.
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