Despite many laboratory studies probing learning mechanisms across fields, we still know relatively little about the structure of the natural experiences upon which those mechanisms are thought to operate. Slone's research seeks to fill this gap, investigating the structure of the natural experiences of some of the most prodigious learners: human infants. In this talk, she will present recent findings on the natural data for infants’ early word learning – their first-person views of objects, and the talk they naturally hear about those objects from their parents. Slone will demonstrate that these natural data look nothing like the types of experiences we typically use to test learning in the lab. And she’ll discuss why we should care – the impacts of this research for understanding the cognitive and neural processes underlying adult cognition, for how we teach, and for how we understand and intervene in atypical development.


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