Semantic processing of actions at 9months is linked to language proficiency at 9 and 18months.
2016 (English)In: Journal of experimental child psychology (Print), ISSN 0022-0965, E-ISSN 1096-0457, Vol. 151Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The current study uses event-related potential methodologies to investigate how social-cognitive processes in preverbal infants relate to language performance. We assessed 9-month-olds' understanding of the semantic structure of actions via an N400 event-related potential (ERP) response to action sequences that contained expected and unexpected outcomes. At 9 and 18months of age, infants' language abilities were measured using the Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventory (SECDI). Here we show that 9-month-olds' understanding of the semantic structure of actions, evidenced in an N400 ERP response to action sequences with unexpected outcomes, is related to language comprehension scores at 9months and is related to language production scores at 18months of age. Infants who showed a selective N400 response to unexpected action outcomes are those who are classed as above mean in their language proficiency. The results provide evidence that language performance is related to the ability to detect and interpret human actions at 9months of age. This study suggests that some basic cognitive mechanisms are involved in the processing of sequential events that are shared between two conceptually different cognitive domains and that pre-linguistic social understanding skills and language proficiency are linked to one another.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 151
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-309028DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.02.003PubMedID: 26971305OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-309028DiVA: diva2:1051344