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Volume 6 Issue 2 (April 2003), Pages 119-231

Two‐month‐old infants match phonetic information in lips and voice (pages 191-196)

Abstract

Infants aged 4.5 months are able to match phonetic information in the face and voice (Kuhl & Meltzoff, 1982; Patterson & Werker, 1999); however, the ontogeny of this remarkable ability is not understood. In the present study, we address this question by testing substantially younger infants at 2 months of age. Like the 4.5‐month‐olds in past studies, the 2‐month‐old infants tested in the current study showed evidence of matching vowel information in face and voice. The effect was observed in overall looking time, number of infants who looked longer at the match, and longest look to the match versus mismatch. Furthermore, there were no differences based on male or female stimuli and no preferences for the match when it was on the right or left side. These results show that there is robust evidence for phonetic matching at a much younger age than previously known and support arguments for either some kind of privileged processing or particularly rapid learning of phonetic information.

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