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Investigating verbal coding of pictures and the effects of language in children during a short-term memory task with eye tracking

Bækø Ness, Torunn Emilie Bækø LU (2017) PSYP01 20171
Department of Psychology
Abstract (Swedish)
Understanding the parameters of using speech code for visual material is critical to a range of theories concerning memory span development, and the relationship between language and thought. The present study attempted to reveal whether a group of children (N = 39, age 5–7) used verbal labelling of pictures in a memory task, by investigating dwell times on pictures of objects. It is the first study to attempt this while also considering the role of language-related factors, such as language ability and multilingualism. In each trial of the experiment, the child saw four pictures of common objects, and after a short distraction task a visual cue to a target object appeared. When considering the complete sample, the results show no general... (More)
Understanding the parameters of using speech code for visual material is critical to a range of theories concerning memory span development, and the relationship between language and thought. The present study attempted to reveal whether a group of children (N = 39, age 5–7) used verbal labelling of pictures in a memory task, by investigating dwell times on pictures of objects. It is the first study to attempt this while also considering the role of language-related factors, such as language ability and multilingualism. In each trial of the experiment, the child saw four pictures of common objects, and after a short distraction task a visual cue to a target object appeared. When considering the complete sample, the results show no general effect of longer first dwells on multisyllabic objects compared to monosyllabic objects, which has been documented in adults. This might be taken to indicating that the children did not use verbal labels for what they saw. However, multilingual children had significantly longer first dwells compared to monolinguals, which could indicate more language interference in this group. Moreover, a surprising interaction effect from language scores revealed that less verbally competent children looked significantly longer on monosyllabic objects compared to multisyllabic objects. This association could be interpreted to mean partial verbal activation of only short-named objects. The results of this study indicate that language-related factors are relevant in a visual memory task, but highlight our current lack of understanding on how visual and verbal processes are related in young children. (Less)
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author
Bækø Ness, Torunn Emilie Bækø LU
supervisor
organization
course
PSYP01 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Verbal Coding, Implicit labelling, Eye tracking, Word-Length effect, Language Ability
language
English
id
8927184
date added to LUP
2017-10-13 15:29:38
date last changed
2017-10-13 15:29:38
@misc{8927184,
  abstract     = {Understanding the parameters of using speech code for visual material is critical to a range of theories concerning memory span development, and the relationship between language and thought. The present study attempted to reveal whether a group of children (N = 39, age 5–7) used verbal labelling of pictures in a memory task, by investigating dwell times on pictures of objects. It is the first study to attempt this while also considering the role of language-related factors, such as language ability and multilingualism. In each trial of the experiment, the child saw four pictures of common objects, and after a short distraction task a visual cue to a target object appeared. When considering the complete sample, the results show no general effect of longer first dwells on multisyllabic objects compared to monosyllabic objects, which has been documented in adults. This might be taken to indicating that the children did not use verbal labels for what they saw. However, multilingual children had significantly longer first dwells compared to monolinguals, which could indicate more language interference in this group. Moreover, a surprising interaction effect from language scores revealed that less verbally competent children looked significantly longer on monosyllabic objects compared to multisyllabic objects. This association could be interpreted to mean partial verbal activation of only short-named objects. The results of this study indicate that language-related factors are relevant in a visual memory task, but highlight our current lack of understanding on how visual and verbal processes are related in young children.},
  author       = {Bækø Ness, Torunn Emilie Bækø},
  keyword      = {Verbal Coding,Implicit labelling,Eye tracking,Word-Length effect,Language Ability},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Investigating verbal coding of pictures and the effects of language in children during a short-term memory task with eye tracking},
  year         = {2017},
}