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Journal of Memory and Language

Ariel N James, Scott H Fraundorf, Eun-Kyung Lee, Duane G Watson
There remains little consensus about whether there exist meaningful individual differences in syntactic processing and, if so, what explains them. We argue that this partially reflects the fact that few psycholinguistic studies of individual differences include multiple constructs, multiple measures per construct, or tests for reliable measures. Here, we replicated three major syntactic phenomena in the psycholinguistic literature: use of verb distributional statistics, difficulty of object-versus subject-extracted relative clauses, and resolution of relative clause attachment ambiguities...
October 2018: Journal of Memory and Language
Nicole M Scott, Maria D Sera
Language is likely structuring spatial judgments, but how it achieves this is not clear. We examined the development of relative, spatial judgments across verbal and nonverbal tasks of above, below, right and left in children between the ages of 5 and 10 years. We found that the verbal ability to make above/below judgments preceded verbal right / left judgments and all nonverbal judgments. We also found that only when the labels were accessed - as opposed to only having been acquired - did children's nonverbal performance improve...
August 2018: Journal of Memory and Language
Martin Zettersten, Erica Wojcik, Viridiana L Benitez, Jenny Saffran
Learning the meanings of words involves not only linking individual words to referents but also building a network of connections among entities in the world, concepts, and words. Previous studies reveal that infants and adults track the statistical co-occurrence of labels and objects across multiple ambiguous training instances to learn words. However, it is less clear whether, given distributional or attentional cues, learners also encode associations amongst the novel objects. We investigated the consequences of two types of cues that highlighted object-object links in a cross-situational word learning task: distributional structure - how frequently the referents of novel words occurred together - and visual context - whether the referents were seen on matching backgrounds...
April 2018: Journal of Memory and Language
Kristen M Tooley, Matthew J Traxler
The aim of this study was to determine whether cumulative structural priming effects and trial-to-trial lexically-mediated priming effects are produced by the same mechanism in comprehension. Participants took part in a five-session eye tracking study where they read reduced-relative prime-target pairs with the same initial verb. Half of the verbs in these sentences were repeated across the five sessions and half were novel to each session. Total fixation times on the syntactically challenging parts of prime sentences decreased across sessions, suggesting participants implicitly learned the structure...
February 2018: Journal of Memory and Language
Patricia A Reeder, Elissa L Newport, Richard N Aslin
There has been significant recent interest in clarifying how learners use distributional information during language acquisition. Many researchers have suggested that distributional learning mechanisms play a major role during grammatical category acquisition, since linguistic form-classes (like noun and verb ) and subclasses (like masculine and feminine grammatical gender) are primarily defined by the ways lexical items are distributed in syntactic contexts. Though recent experimental work has affirmed the importance of distributional information for category acquisition, there has been little evidence that learners can acquire linguistic subclasses based only on distributional cues...
December 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Cassandra L Jacobs, Gary S Dell, Colin Bannard
Four experiments examined the effects of word and phrase frequency on free recall. Word frequency did not affect word recall, but when participants studied and recalled lists of compositional adjective-noun phrases (e.g. alcoholic beverages ), phrase frequency had a consistently beneficial effect: both words from frequent phrases were more likely to be recalled than for infrequent phrases, providing evidence that long-term memory for phrases can aid in pattern completion, or redintegration. We explain these results and those of a previous study of phrase frequency effects in recognition memory (Jacobs et al...
December 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Erin M Freed, Stephen T Hamilton, Debra L Long
Individual-difference research on reading comprehension is challenging because reader characteristics are as correlated with each other as they are with comprehension. This study was conducted to determine which abilities are central to explaining comprehension and which are secondary to other abilities. A battery of psycholinguistic and cognitive tests was administered to community college and university students. Seven constructs were identified: word decoding, working-memory capacity (WMC), general reasoning, verbal fluency, perceptual speed, inhibition, and language experience...
December 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Cathleen Cortis Mack, Caterina Cinel, Nigel Davies, Michael Harding, Geoff Ward
Three experiments examined whether or not benchmark findings observed in the immediate retrieval from episodic memory are similarly observed over much greater time-scales. Participants were presented with experimentally-controlled lists of words at the very slow rate of one word every hour using an iPhone recall application, RECAPP, which was also used to recall the words in either any order (free recall: Experiments 1 to 3) or the same order as presented (serial recall: Experiment 3). We found strong temporal contiguity effects, weak serial position effects with very limited recency, and clear list length effects in free recall; clear primacy effects and classic error gradients in serial recall; and recency effects in a final two-alternative forced choice recognition task (Experiments 2 and 3)...
December 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Xin Xie, Emily B Myers
Past research has revealed that native listeners use top-down information to adjust the mapping from speech sounds to phonetic categories. Such phonetic adjustments help listeners adapt to foreign-accented speech. However, the mechanism by which talker-specific adaptation generalizes to other talkers is poorly understood. Here we asked what conditions induce crosstalker generalization in talker accent adaptation. Native-English listeners were exposed to Mandarin-accented words, produced by a single talker or multiple talkers...
December 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Amélie Bernard
Are syllable-level and co-occurrence representations simultaneously available when one learns novel phonotactics? After training on word-medial consonant restrictions (e.g., word-medial onsets P/Z, codas D/F, and cross-syllable consonant clusters FP/DZ in items like baF.Pev, tiD.Zek), adults falsely recognized novel items containing restricted consonants with the same co-occurrences (e.g., FP) more often than those with different co-occurrences (e.g., FZ) when syllable-position information was kept constant (e...
October 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Joseph P Hennessee, Alan D Castel, Barbara J Knowlton
We examined the effects of value on recognition by assessing its contribution to recollection and familiarity. In three experiments, participants studied English words, each associated with a point-value they would earn for correct recognition, with the goal of maximizing their score. In Experiment 1, participants provided Remember/Know judgments. In Experiment 2 participants indicated whether items were recollected or if not, their degree of familiarity along a 6-point scale. In Experiment 3, recognition of words was accompanied by a test of memory for incidental details...
June 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Iva Ivanova, Victor S Ferreira, Tamar H Gollan
Bilinguals rarely produce unintended language switches, which may in part be because switches are detected and corrected by an internal monitor. But are language switches easier or harder to detect than within-language semantic errors? To approximate internal monitoring, bilinguals listened (Experiment 1) or read aloud (Experiment 2) stories, and detected language switches (translation equivalents or semantically unrelated to expected words) and within-language errors (semantically related or unrelated to expected words)...
June 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Titus von der Malsburg, Bernhard Angele
In research on eye movements in reading, it is common to analyze a number of canonical dependent measures to study how the effects of a manipulation unfold over time. Although this gives rise to the well-known multiple comparisons problem, i.e. an inflated probability that the null hypothesis is incorrectly rejected (Type I error), it is accepted standard practice not to apply any correction procedures. Instead, there appears to be a widespread belief that corrections are not necessary because the increase in false positives is too small to matter...
June 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Andrea Greve, Elisa Cooper, Alexander Kaula, Michael C Anderson, Richard Henson
The role of prediction error (PE) in driving learning is well-established in fields such as classical and instrumental conditioning, reward learning and procedural memory; however, its role in human one-shot declarative encoding is less clear. According to one recent hypothesis, PE reflects the divergence between two probability distributions: one reflecting the prior probability (from previous experiences) and the other reflecting the sensory evidence (from the current experience). Assuming unimodal probability distributions, PE can be manipulated in three ways: (1) the distance between the mode of the prior and evidence, (2) the precision of the prior, and (3) the precision of the evidence...
June 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Haley A Vlach, Catherine A DeBrock
Learning new words is a difficult task. Children are able to resolve the ambiguity of the task and map words to referents by tracking co-occurrence probabilities across multiple moments in time, a behavior termed cross-situational word learning (CSWL). Although we observe developments in CSWL abilities across childhood, the cognitive processes that drive individual and developmental change have yet to be identified. This research tested a developmental systems account by examining whether multiple cognitive systems co-contribute to children's CSWL...
April 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Mallorie Leinenger, Mark Myslín, Keith Rayner, Roger Levy
Human language is massively ambiguous, yet we are generally able to identify the intended meanings of the sentences we hear and read quickly and accurately. How we manage and resolve ambiguity incrementally during real-time language comprehension given our cognitive resources and constraints is a major question in human cognition. Previous research investigating resource constraints on lexical ambiguity resolution has yielded conflicting results. Here we present results from two experiments in which we recorded eye movements to test for evidence of resource constraints during lexical ambiguity resolution...
April 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Sara Finley
One of the major questions in the cognitive science of language is whether the perceptual and phonological motivations for the rules and patterns that govern the sounds of language are a part of the psychological reality of grammatical representations. This question is particularly important in the study of phonological patterns - systematic constraints on the representation of sounds, because phonological patterns tend to be grounded in phonetic constraints. This paper focuses on phonological metathesis, which occurs when two adjacent sounds switch positions (e...
February 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Shelley Gray, Samuel Green, Mary Alt, Tiffany P Hogan, Trudy Kuo, Shara Brinkley, Nelson Cowan
This study investigated the structure of working memory in young school-age children by testing the fit of three competing theoretical models using a wide variety of tasks. The best fitting models were then used to assess the relationship between working memory and nonverbal measures of fluid reasoning ( Gf ) and visual processing ( Gv ) intelligence. One hundred sixty-eight English-speaking 7-9 year olds with typical development, from three states, participated. Results showed that Cowan's three-factor embedded processes model fit the data slightly better than Baddeley and Hitch's (1974) three-factor model (specified according to Baddeley, 1986) and decisively better than Baddeley's (2000) four-factor model that included an episodic buffer...
February 2017: Journal of Memory and Language
Soojin Cho-Reyes, Jennifer E Mack, Cynthia K Thompson
The present study addressed open questions about the nature of sentence production deficits in agrammatic aphasia. In two structural priming experiments, 13 aphasic and 13 age-matched control speakers repeated visually- and auditorily-presented prime sentences, and then used visually-presented word arrays to produce dative sentences. Experiment 1 examined whether agrammatic speakers form structural and thematic representations during sentence production, whereas Experiment 2 tested the lasting effects of structural priming in lags of two and four sentences...
December 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
Scott H Fraundorf, T Florian Jaeger
Growing evidence suggests that syntactic processing may be guided in part by expectations about the statistics of the input that comprehenders have encountered; however, these statistics and even the syntactic structures themselves vary from situation to situation. Some recent work suggests that readers can adapt to variability in the frequencies of known, but infrequent syntactic structures. But, the relation between adaptation to altered frequencies of familiar structures and learning to process unfamiliar, never-before-seen structures is under-explored...
December 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
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