From domain-generality to domain-sensitivity

4-Month-olds learn an abstract repetition rule in music that 7-month-olds do not

Colin Dawson, Louann Gerken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Learning must be constrained for it to lead to productive generalizations. Although biology is undoubtedly an important source of constraints, prior experience may be another, leading learners to represent input in ways that are more conducive to some generalizations than others, and/or to up- and down-weight features when entertaining generalizations. In two experiments, 4-month-old and 7-month-old infants were familiarized with sequences of musical chords or tones adhering either to an AAB pattern or an ABA pattern. In both cases, the 4-month-olds learned the generalization, but the 7-month-olds did not. The success of the 4-month-olds appears to contradict an account that this type of pattern learning is the provenance of a language-specific rule-learning module. It is not yet clear what drives the age-related change, but plausible candidates include differential experience with language and music, as well as interactions between general cognitive development and stimulus complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-382
Number of pages5
JournalCognition
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Fingerprint

Music
music
Learning
Language
learning
Weights and Measures
cognitive development
language
biology
infant
stimulus
experience
candidacy
experiment
interaction
Generality

Keywords

  • Artificial grammar learning
  • Infant cognition
  • Language learning
  • Modularity
  • Music cognition
  • Rule-learning
  • Statistical learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

From domain-generality to domain-sensitivity : 4-Month-olds learn an abstract repetition rule in music that 7-month-olds do not. / Dawson, Colin; Gerken, Louann.

In: Cognition, Vol. 111, No. 3, 06.2009, p. 378-382.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f348405babe64056b229625d62d88945,
title = "From domain-generality to domain-sensitivity: 4-Month-olds learn an abstract repetition rule in music that 7-month-olds do not",
abstract = "Learning must be constrained for it to lead to productive generalizations. Although biology is undoubtedly an important source of constraints, prior experience may be another, leading learners to represent input in ways that are more conducive to some generalizations than others, and/or to up- and down-weight features when entertaining generalizations. In two experiments, 4-month-old and 7-month-old infants were familiarized with sequences of musical chords or tones adhering either to an AAB pattern or an ABA pattern. In both cases, the 4-month-olds learned the generalization, but the 7-month-olds did not. The success of the 4-month-olds appears to contradict an account that this type of pattern learning is the provenance of a language-specific rule-learning module. It is not yet clear what drives the age-related change, but plausible candidates include differential experience with language and music, as well as interactions between general cognitive development and stimulus complexity.",
keywords = "Artificial grammar learning, Infant cognition, Language learning, Modularity, Music cognition, Rule-learning, Statistical learning",
author = "Colin Dawson and Louann Gerken",
year = "2009",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1016/j.cognition.2009.02.010",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "111",
pages = "378--382",
journal = "Cognition",
issn = "0010-0277",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - From domain-generality to domain-sensitivity

T2 - 4-Month-olds learn an abstract repetition rule in music that 7-month-olds do not

AU - Dawson, Colin

AU - Gerken, Louann

PY - 2009/6

Y1 - 2009/6

N2 - Learning must be constrained for it to lead to productive generalizations. Although biology is undoubtedly an important source of constraints, prior experience may be another, leading learners to represent input in ways that are more conducive to some generalizations than others, and/or to up- and down-weight features when entertaining generalizations. In two experiments, 4-month-old and 7-month-old infants were familiarized with sequences of musical chords or tones adhering either to an AAB pattern or an ABA pattern. In both cases, the 4-month-olds learned the generalization, but the 7-month-olds did not. The success of the 4-month-olds appears to contradict an account that this type of pattern learning is the provenance of a language-specific rule-learning module. It is not yet clear what drives the age-related change, but plausible candidates include differential experience with language and music, as well as interactions between general cognitive development and stimulus complexity.

AB - Learning must be constrained for it to lead to productive generalizations. Although biology is undoubtedly an important source of constraints, prior experience may be another, leading learners to represent input in ways that are more conducive to some generalizations than others, and/or to up- and down-weight features when entertaining generalizations. In two experiments, 4-month-old and 7-month-old infants were familiarized with sequences of musical chords or tones adhering either to an AAB pattern or an ABA pattern. In both cases, the 4-month-olds learned the generalization, but the 7-month-olds did not. The success of the 4-month-olds appears to contradict an account that this type of pattern learning is the provenance of a language-specific rule-learning module. It is not yet clear what drives the age-related change, but plausible candidates include differential experience with language and music, as well as interactions between general cognitive development and stimulus complexity.

KW - Artificial grammar learning

KW - Infant cognition

KW - Language learning

KW - Modularity

KW - Music cognition

KW - Rule-learning

KW - Statistical learning

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=67349109453&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=67349109453&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.02.010

DO - 10.1016/j.cognition.2009.02.010

M3 - Article

VL - 111

SP - 378

EP - 382

JO - Cognition

JF - Cognition

SN - 0010-0277

IS - 3

ER -