Le jeudi 21 septembre 2017 de 14h à 15h30, le laboratoire GIPSA-lab invite Mathilde Fort (Post-doctoral fellow, Universitat Pompeu Fabra,
Barcelona, Spain) pour un séminaire intitulé The role of attention in early language acquisition. Cet évènement est proposé dans le cadre des séminaires "fléchés" qu'organisent depuis 5 ans le Pôle Grenoble Cognition et le Master de Sciences Cognitives. Ils constituent des temps forts dans la formation des étudiants qui sont invités à échanger avec l'intervenant.


Following the seminal work of Saffran, Aslin and Newport (1996), a wide range of studies have revealed the power of the infant brain to extract
regularities from the speech signal through statistical learning, the implicit learning of regularities present in the speech input. However,  this approach does not provide a fully satisfactory account of how infants learn language. The speech input is so multidimensional that
infants need to pinpoint, by attentional mechanisms, the appropriate subset of dimensions relevant for computing statistics. For example, to  learn the words of a language, who speaks is not fundamental, but the phonemes involved are. My research project thus investigates how the maturation of attention constrains infants’ language learning.
One way of investigating this question is to assess the role visual attention strategies on how infants explore talking faces. In daily
face-to-face communication, infants need to orient their attention to the relevant part of talking faces (eyes, mouth) as a function of the relevance of each source of information (emotional & prosodic: eyes region; speech: mouth region) over time. First, using eye-tracking measures, I study how one attentional strategy (e.g., focusing on the mouth of the speaker) impacts how infants can detect and anticipate information coming from the rest of the face, and whether this ability relates to lexical development. Second, using entropy measures, I study how specific language exposure (namely, early bilingualism) sculpts mechanisms of attention and cognitive control in infants, when exploring talking faces. I conclude this talk by identifying the new questions and tools necessary to further investigate this question.


Lieu : GIPSA-lab salle Chartreuse D1121, 2e étage Bâtiment D, site Ampère