Statistical Learning Supports Word Learning and Memory

AbstractLearning new words does not only require infants to find words in continuous speech, but also be remember recently segmented words and link them to meaning. Prior research has shown that statistical learning supports word learning. However, as infant statistical learning was typically tested immediately after familiarization with a speech stream, we know very little about whether infants’ experience with statistical regularities supports long-term memory and future word learning. The current study was designed to shed light on the relationship between statistical learning, word learning, and memory. We found that while both co-occurrence statistics and syllable frequency information support word learning in the moment, co-occurrence information alone supports long-term memory for recently segmented candidate object labels.


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