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Syllables as signals for 2-day-old infants

Authors
Journal
Infant Behavior and Development
0163-6383
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
13
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0163-6383(90)90041-6
Keywords
  • Audition
  • Discrimination
  • Learning
  • Mother'S Voice
  • Newborn Nonnutritive Sucking
  • Syllable

Abstract

Abstract Neonates demonstrated two-stimulus auditory operant discrimination by altering nonnutritive sucking patterns during an 18-min session. Discriminative stimuli were two isolated, repeated syllables, and reinforcers were a recording of mother's adult-directed speech and quiet. During the final 6 min, 16 of 20 subjects ( M age = 55 hours) initiated bursts of sucking relatively more frequently during the syllable which signalled the availability of the recording of mother's voice versus quiet. In addition to providing new evidence of newborn speech perception and learning capacities, the results suggest a useful method for investigating neonatal auditory perception.

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