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Title page for ETD etd-03292010-225157

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Osina, Maria Alexandrovna
Author's Email Address maria.a.osina@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-03292010-225157
Title What and where in 12-month-old infants’ absent reference comprehension
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Daniel Levin Committee Member
Megan Saylor Committee Member
  • language development
  • cognitive development
  • mental representation
  • visuospatial memory
  • memory specificity
  • context
  • object in place
  • objects and locations
Date of Defense 2010-03-26
Availability unrestricted
The inconsistency of babies’ ability to reveal displaced speech comprehension in previous research can be accounted for by the relative difficulty of the task and the strength of underlying mental representations of referents. In the current study we investigated how the nature of babies’ object representations affects displaced speech comprehension. We found that 12-month-old babies are more likely to comprehend absent reference to new objects than to familiar objects. We showed that this is not due to novelty preference, but due to the interference from objects’ prior spatiotemporal history. Finally, we found that if an object representation is clear from any interfering location information babies are more likely to display comprehension when the referent is accessible to them than when it is not.
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