What and where in 12-month-old infants’ absent reference comprehension
Osina, Maria Alexandrovna
The inconsistency of babies’ ability to reveal displaced speech comprehension in previous research can be accounted for by the relative difficulty of the task and the strength of underlying mental representations of referents. In the current study we investigated how the nature of babies’ object representations affects displaced speech comprehension. We found that 12-month-old babies are more likely to comprehend absent reference to new objects than to familiar objects. We showed that this is not due to novelty preference, but due to the interference from objects’ prior spatiotemporal history. Finally, we found that if an object representation is clear from any interfering location information babies are more likely to display comprehension when the referent is accessible to them than when it is not.