Seven-month-old babies already have a sense of symmetry

UPV/EHU’s Gogo Elebiduna Research Group is a leader in psycholinguistics; It conducts a variety of research to gain knowledge about how language faculties are received, represented and organized in the minds of speakers, and about the nature of the universal characteristics of language representation and processing.

Irene de la Cruz-Pavia, the group’s Ikerbasque research fellow, conducted a study in collaboration with researcher Judit Gervain of the University of Padua and which was recently published in the journal. one more, This abstract explores the ability of 7-month-old infants to sense structural symmetry in mosaic-like visual patterns. This research has been done at the University of Paris. “We examined the spontaneous appearance patterns of about 100 infants when mosaic-like sequences display symmetrical and asymmetrical structures,” the researchers explained.

These mosaics included two categories of square tiles (A and B) that differed in terms of their color scheme and interior shape. These tiles were arranged to form a mosaic with symmetric (e.g. ABA, ABABA) or asymmetric (e.g. AAB, AABBA) structures. The study found that the infants “discriminated between structurally symmetric and asymmetrical mosaics, and sequence length (3 or 5 tiles) or level of symmetry did not significantly modify their behavior.” These results suggest that infants quickly detect structural symmetry in complex visual patterns: “Infants as young as 7 months have a strong, automatic ability to detect that a structure is symmetrical. This corresponds to studies that we conducted using other stimuli, such as sign language or speech, showing that children are very good at detecting structures and regularities,” says the UPV/EHU’s Linguistics and Basque Studies researcher in the department said.

Babies’ ability to draw structure and rules through a variety of means

As the Ikerbask Research Fellow pointed out, “The grammar of a language consists of the set of structures and rules of a language. I would like to understand to what extent the rules for extracting infinitive structures, detecting regularity, and learning are related to the language.” are specific to or are they found in other regions.” “We did this study using information that is visual but that is not language. With these mosaics, we were able to see how children were able to extract structure from different media.”

The researchers emphasize that this study allows them to “better understand the fundamental skills of these infinitives, which enables them to begin with some of the more accessible parts of grammar initially and gradually develop into a more accessible form of grammar.” builds up to something as complex as the grammar of language. Do we want to understand: What are the basic abilities of infants when it comes to detecting structure?”

“We have many more questions to answer,” he concluded. “In this study we were able to determine whether children are able to detect structures automatically and quickly. We now want to understand when this ability begins, and the degree of detail with which they can explore that structure.” and what aspects of the mosaic allow them to find out its composition (shape, colour, both…).”

Additional Information

This study was carried out in collaboration with the Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Cognition (CNRS, University of Paris, France), the University of Vienna (Austria) and the University of Padua (Italy).

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material provided by Universities of the Basque Country, Note: Content can be edited for style and length.


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