Linguistic Labels and Categorization in Infancy: Do Labels Facilitate or Hinder?
Version of Record online: 1 MAY 2007
2007 International Society on Infant Studies
Volume 11, Issue 3, pages 233–253, May 2007
How to Cite
Robinson, C. W. and Sloutsky, V. M. (2007), Linguistic Labels and Categorization in Infancy: Do Labels Facilitate or Hinder?. Infancy, 11: 233–253. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7078.2007.tb00225.x
- Issue online: 3 FEB 2010
- Version of Record online: 1 MAY 2007
Although it is generally accepted that labels facilitate categorization in infancy, recent evidence suggests that infants and young children are more likely to process visual input when presented in isolation than when paired with nonlinguistic sounds or linguistic labels. These findings suggest that auditory input (when compared to a no-auditory baseline) may hinder rather than facilitate categorization. This study assessed 8-month-olds' (n = 191) and 12-month-olds' (n = 81) abilities to form categories when images were paired with nonlinguistic sounds, linguistic labels, and when presented in isolation. Overall, infants accumulated more looking when visual stimuli were accompanied by sounds or labels; however, infants were more likely to categorize when the visual images were presented without an auditory stimulus.