Language unifies relational coding

The roles of label acquisition and accessibility in making flexible relational judgments

Nicole M. Scott, Maria D. Sera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Language is likely structuring spatial judgments, but how it achieves this is not clear. We examined the ability to make relative, spatial judgments across verbal and nonverbal tasks of above, below, right and left in children between the ages of 5 and 10 years. We found that the verbal ability to make above/below judgments preceded verbal right/left judgments and all nonverbal judgments. We also found that only when the labels were accessed – as opposed to only having been acquired – did children's nonverbal performance improve. Our findings further indicate that accessing the correct term was not needed for enhanced performance. The results suggest that accessing language unifies different instantiations of a relation into a single representation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-152
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Volume101
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

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Labels
coding
Language
ability
language
Aptitude
performance
Accessibility

Keywords

  • Cognitive development
  • Entrenchment in language development
  • Language accessibility
  • Language acquisition
  • Relational terms
  • Spatial relations

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Cite this

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