The development of perceptual grouping biases in infancy: a Japanese-English cross-linguistic study.

Published

Journal Article

Perceptual grouping has traditionally been thought to be governed by innate, universal principles. However, recent work has found differences in Japanese and English speakers' non-linguistic perceptual grouping, implicating language in non-linguistic perceptual processes (Iversen, Patel, & Ohgushi, 2008). Two experiments test Japanese- and English-learning infants of 5-6 and 7-8 months of age to explore the development of grouping preferences. At 5-6 months, neither the Japanese nor the English infants revealed any systematic perceptual biases. However, by 7-8 months, the same age as when linguistic phrasal grouping develops, infants developed non-linguistic grouping preferences consistent with their language's structure (and the grouping biases found in adulthood). These results reveal an early difference in non-linguistic perception between infants growing up in different language environments. The possibility that infants' linguistic phrasal grouping is bootstrapped by abstract perceptual principles is discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yoshida, KA; Iversen, JR; Patel, AD; Mazuka, R; Nito, H; Gervain, J; Werker, JF

Published Date

  • May 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 115 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 356 - 361

PubMed ID

  • 20144456

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20144456

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7838

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0010-0277

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.01.005

Language

  • eng