Karadöller, D. Z., Sumer, B., Ünal, E., & Ozyurek, A.
(2021). Spatial language use predicts spatial memory of children: Evidence from sign, speech, and speech-plus-gesture. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. Teßmar-Raible (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2021) (pp. 672-678). Vienna: Cognitive Science Society.
There is a strong relation between children’s exposure to
spatial terms and their later memory accuracy. In the current
study, we tested whether the production of spatial terms by
children themselves predicts memory accuracy and whether
and how language modality of these encodings modulates
memory accuracy differently. Hearing child speakers of
Turkish and deaf child signers of Turkish Sign Language
described pictures of objects in various spatial relations to each
other and later tested for their memory accuracy of these
pictures in a surprise memory task. We found that having
described the spatial relation between the objects predicted
better memory accuracy. However, the modality of these
descriptions in sign, speech, or speech-plus-gesture did not
reveal differences in memory accuracy. We discuss the
implications of these findings for the relation between spatial
language, memory, and the modality of encoding.