UBC Undergraduate Research

Neural Correlates of Fast Mapping in Monolingual vs Bilingual Toddlers Dev, Deea K.; Weatherhead, Drew; Arredondo, Maria; Werker, Janet Feldman, 1951- 2020-04

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Neural Correlates of Fast Mapping in Monolingual vs Bilingual Toddlers• In fast mapping, new words are mapped to unfamiliar objects when contrasted with familiar objects through an indirect learning context (Halberda, 2003; Yeung & Werker, 2009)§ For a successful mapping, “referent selection” and “referent retention” must be performed (Spiegel & Halberda, 2011)§ Children do not retain new words learned through indirect contexts until around 3 years of age (Horst & Samuelson, 2008; Bion et al., 2013)§ Fast mapping may be more effective for monolinguals than bilinguals as knowledge of translational equivalents cause removal from one-to-one mapping strategy between word and concept (Byers-Heinlein & Werker, 2009; Houston-Price et al., 2010)§ Adult late second-language learners show greater left lateralization when a word is learned (Yang et al., 2015) and bilingual children show greater left lateralization to language exposure (Arredondo et al., 2019)§ Debates are present in developmental psychology regarding how the behavioural and neural mechanisms that support word learning in monolinguals and bilinguals might overlap and/or differ Participants:§ 28 monolingual children & 26 bilingual children (28-32 month olds)Design:• 8 second long trials; 3 second pre-naming & 3 second post-naming phases• 1-8 second long jitters (buffer stimuli)• Measured looking time using eye-tracker and cerebral activation using fNIRSFamiliar:• More right frontal and left temporal activation in bilinguals than monolinguals, consistent with activation patterns for memory retrieval (St-Laurent et al., 2016; Davis et al., 2008)Disambiguation:• Both monolingual and bilinguals show significant left temporal and right frontal activation consistent with activation patterns for learning novel words (Saykin et al., 1999; Davis et al., 2008) • More left frontal and right temporal activation in monolinguals than bilinguals consistent with language processing functions and visual cues (Turken & Dronkers, 2011)• Monolinguals and bilinguals perform equally well at disambiguation, but mechanisms driving disambiguation in bilingual toddlers may differ (Kalashnikova et al., 2018)Retention:• Individual differences are observed in retention; neuroimaging data can be analyzed further to compare between toddlers in each group who can and cannot retain words• More left frontal activation in bilinguals and more left temporal activation in monolinguals Overall:• More frontal activation in bilinguals may be associated with greater executive functions as they require greater attention control in switching languages (Bialystok and Martin, 2004; Kaushanskaya and Marian, 2009; Kaushanskaya, 2012)• The differential activation raises the question as to whether there is a different neural signature of word learning in bilingual children, which may explain why they often do not employ fast mapping (Houston-Price et al., 2010)Phase 1 Phase 2MethodologyBackgroundDiscussionDeea K Dev, Drew Weatherhead, Maria Arredondo, Janet F. Werker2 Trial TypesFamiliar: “Find the ball”Disambiguation: “Find the dofa” ”Find the modi”10 of each trialRetention Trials: ½ “Find the dofa” ½ “Find the modi”Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS):• Measures hemoglobin changes in the brain’s cortex using near-infrared light• We used an LED-based NIRScout 16x16 system, 760nm & 850nm wavelengths• 16 sources and 16 detectors, yielding 40 channels (20 per hemisphere)ResultsPreliminary Data Analysis using nirstoolbox plotting T values-2-1012345678left frontal left temporal right frontal right temporalT ValuesRetention Trials (HbO)bilingual monolingual012345678left frontal left temporal right frontal right temporalT  ValuesDisambiguation Trials (HbO)bilingual monolingual-0.0500. Disambiguation RetentionLooking to Target Post –Pre Labeling (difference score)Bilinguals Monolinguals* represents significant activation or differenceEye-Tracking Data012345678left frontal left temporal right frontal right temporalT valuesFamiliar Trials (HbO)bilingual monolingual** * *** *********** ** ****References- Bion, R. A., Borovsky, A., & Fernald, A. (2013). Fast mapping, slow learning: Disambiguation of novel word–object mappings in relation to vocabulary learning at 18, 24, and 30months. Cognition, 126(1), 39–53. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2012.08.008- Halberda, J. (2003). The development of a word-learning strategy. Cognition, 87(1). B23-B34. doi: 10.1016/s0010-0277(02)00186-5- Horst, J., McMurray, B., Samuelson, L.K. (2006). Online Processing is Essential for Learning: Understanding Fast Mapping and Word Learning in a Dynamic Connectionist Architecture. In Sun, R. (Ed.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 339-344). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.- Kalashnikova, M., Escudero, P., & Kidd, E. (2018). The development of fast-mapping and novel word retention strategies in monolingual and bilingual infants. Developmental Science, 21(6). doi: 10.1111/desc.12674  - Kaushanskaya M., Marian V. (2009). The bilingual advantage in novel word learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16(4), 705–710. doi:10.3758/PBR.16.4.705 - Turken, A. U., & Dronkers, N. F. (2011). The Neural Architecture of the Language Comprehension Network: Converging Evidence from Lesion and Connectivity Analyses. Frontiers in System Neuroscience, 5. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2011.00001- Yeung, H. H., & Werker, J. F. (2009). Learning words’ sounds before learning how words sound: 9-Month-olds use distinct objects as cues to categorize speech information. Cognition, 113(2), 234–243. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.08.010


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