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Languages 2019, 4(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4010003

Learning Labels for Objects: Does Degree of Sensorimotor Experience Matter?

Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
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Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract

Theories of embodied cognition propose that sensorimotor experience is essential to learning, representing, and accessing conceptual information. Embodied effects have been observed in early child development and adult cognitive processing, but there has been less research examining the role of embodiment in later childhood. We conducted two experiments to test whether degree of sensorimotor experience modulates children’s word learning. In Experiment 1, 5-year-old children learned labels for 10 unfamiliar objects in one of six learning conditions, which varied in how much sensorimotor experience and information about the objects children received. Children’s word learning was assessed with a recognition test. Results indicated that there was no effect of learning condition on recognition accuracy, as children performed equally well in all conditions. In Experiment 2, we modified the stimuli to emphasize the sensory features of the objects; 5-year-old children learned labels for these objects in one of two learning conditions. Once again, there was no effect of learning condition on children’s recognition accuracy performance. Overall, children’s word learning was not modulated by the extent to which they had sensorimotor experience with the labelled objects. As such, the results place some limits on the role of embodiment in language learning. View Full-Text
Keywords: embodied cognition; language development; sensorimotor; label learning embodied cognition; language development; sensorimotor; label learning
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Wellsby, M.; Pexman, P. Learning Labels for Objects: Does Degree of Sensorimotor Experience Matter? Languages 2019, 4, 3.

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