Browsing by Author "Graham, Susan"
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- ItemOpen Access12-month-olds' phonotactic knowledge guides their word-object mappings(Society for Research In Child Development, 2012-01) MacKenzie, Heather K.; Curtin, Suzanne; Graham, SusanThis study examined whether 12-month-olds will accept words that differ phonologically and phonetically from their native language as object labels in an associative learning task. Sixty infants were presented with sets of English word-object (N = 30), Japanese word-object (N = 15), or Czech word-object (N = 15) pairings until they habituated. Infants associated CVCV English, CCVC English, and CVCV Japanese words, but not CCVC Czech words, with novel objects. These results demonstrate that by 12 months of age, infants are beginning to apply their language-specific knowledge to their acceptance of word forms. That is, they will not map words that violate the phonotactics of their native language to objects.
- ItemOpen Access24-Month-Olds' Selective Learning Is Not an All-or-None Phenomenon(2015-06) Henderson, Annette M. E.; Graham, Susan; Schell, VanessaEvidence that children maintain some memories of labels that are unlikely to be shared by the broader linguistic community suggests that children's selective learning is not an all-or-none phenomenon. Across three experiments, we examine the contexts in which 24-month-olds show selective learning and whether they adjust their selective learning if provided with cues of in-context relevance. In each experiment, toddlers were first familiarized with a source who acted on familiar objects in either typical or atypical ways (e.g., used a car to mimic driving or hop like a rabbit) or labeled familiar objects incorrectly (e.g., called a spoon a "brush"). The source then labeled unfamiliar objects using either a novel word (e.g., fep; Experiment 1) or sound (e.g., ring; Experiments 2 and 3). Results indicated that toddlers learnt words from the typical source but not from the atypical or inaccurate source. In contrast, toddlers extended sound labels only when a source who had previously acted atypically provided the sound labels. Thus, toddlers, like preschoolers, avoid forming semantic representations of new object labels that are unlikely to be relevant in the broader community, but will form event-based memories of such labels if they have reason to suspect such labels will have in-context relevance.
- ItemOpen Access5-year-olds' Use of Disfluency and Speaker Identity in Referential Communication(2015-08-05) Thacker, Justine; Graham, SusanFilled pauses, once thought to be an extraneous aspect of language, play an important role in communication by serving as a signal of speaker difficulty. If children can make such attributions, then their interpretation of filled pauses should be speaker-specific. Using an eye-tracking paradigm, listeners were introduced to two characters with gender-typed colour preferences. These characters instructed children to look at pink or blue objects in a display using fluent (“Look at the X”) and disfluent (“Look at thee, uh, X”) instructions. Experiment 1indicated that 5-year-olds did not make any referential predictions. With the addition of filler trials, Experiment 2 indicated that 5-year-olds and adults anticipated reference to gender-typed objects during the baseline interval (“Look at”), and disfluent instructions led listeners to amend this prediction. These results suggest that children use disfluency as a marker to adjust their speaker-specific referential predictions.
- ItemOpen AccessA Bat is Not a Bird: Infants’ Use of Distinct Labels to Guide Inductive Reasoning(2015-07-27) Switzer, Jessica; Graham, SusanThis study examined infants’ use of distinct labels to guide inductive reasoning. Sixty-five 14- to 16-month-olds were presented with target objects that possessed a non-obvious sound property, followed by test objects that varied in shape similarity (inductive inference task). Infants were also administered a working memory and an inhibition task, and parents completed a vocabulary questionnaire. Results revealed that when objects were not labeled, infants generalized the property to the high- similarity objects only. When the target and test objects were labeled with distinct labels, infants 15-months and older inhibited their generalization of the property to the high- and low- similarity objects. Performance on the inductive inference task was related to age, but not to working memory, inhibition or vocabulary. Our findings suggest that infants 15-months and older use distinct labels to carve out distinct categories, even when objects are highly perceptually similar.
- ItemOpen AccessA Multimodal Approach to Understanding Motor Impairment in Developmental Coordination Disorder(2020-07-13) Grohs, Melody N.; Dewey, Deborah, M.; Dukelow, Sean; Lebel, Catherine; Kirton, Adam; Graham, Susan; Hands, BethAbstractThe ability to learn, execute and adapt motor skills is fundamental to childhood development and promotes independence in daily living. Yet children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD), demonstrate difficulties acquiring and executing motor skills. DCD is a motor disorder that occurs in 5-6% of school-aged children. Motor impairment manifests as clumsy, slow and inaccurate motor performance adversely affecting the physical, academic and social outcomes of affected children. The pervasive negative impact of motor impairment on daily life in children with DCD, highlights the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. However, the motor deficits common among children with DCD remain unclear, making both screening and intervention difficult. There is a need for research with a priority focus on characterizing the motor deficits present in children with DCD. Evidence is growing, which suggests that poor motor performance in DCD is associated with motor control and motor learning deficits, however, findings are inconsistent across published studies. The current thesis used a three-pronged approach to investigate motor control and motor learning in children with diagnosed DCD, between the ages of 8 to 12 years: (1) two robotic behavioral tasks were employed to objectively quantify motor control abilities, (2) motor learning over five consecutive days of skill training and the potential of non-invasive brain stimulation to modulate rates of motor learning were explored, and (3) neuroimaging was used to investigate brain morphology of regions pertinent to motor control and motor learning. Spatial-temporal differences in reaching performance were observed in children with DCD, supporting the presence of motor control deficits. Preserved motor learning was also seen in the same sample of children. Non-invasive brain stimulation was unsuccessful in modulating the rate of motor learning. Finally, limited brain structural differences were observed in our DCD group compared to healthy controls. However, preliminary findings of reduced subcortical thalamic and pallidal volumes in our DCD group warrants further study, particularly given that these brain structures play critical roles in motor control and motor learning. Taken together, these findings suggest that the motor difficulties observed in children with DCD may be associated with compromised motor control systems.
- ItemOpen AccessAn examination of the communicative linguistic abilities of children adopted from Romanian orphanages(2001) Brooks, Brian L.; Graham, Susan
- ItemOpen AccessAnimacy cues facilitate 10-month-olds' categorization of novel objects with similar insides(2018-11-26) Anderson, Nina; Meagher, Kristinn; Welder, Andrea N.; Graham, SusanIn this experiment, we examined whether sensitivity to the relevance of object insides for the categorization of animate objects is in place around 10 months of age. Using an object examining paradigm, 10-month-old infants' (N = 58) were familiarized to novel objects with varying outward appearances but shared insides in one of three groups: No cues, Eyes, and Cue control. During test trials, infants were presented with a novel in-category test object followed by an out-of-category test object. When objects were presented with animacy cues (i.e., Eyes), infants categorized the objects together. In contrast, when objects were presented without any added cues or when they were presented with a shared perceptual marker (Cue control, i.e., plastic spoons placed on top of the objects), infants showed no evidence of categorization. These results indicate that by 10 months of age, eyes signal to infants that objects share some kind of uniting commonality that may not be obvious or readily perceptually available.
- ItemOpen AccessAre IQ scores valid for children who are poor readers?(American Psychological Association, 1993-01) Kline, Rex Bryan; Graham, Susan; Lachar, David
- ItemOpen AccessBridging the Gaps in the Study of Typical and Atypical Cognitive Development: A Commentary(Taylor & Francis, 2016-01) Graham, Susan; Madigan, Sheri L.The articles in this special issue of the Journal of Cognition and Development examine the cognitive development of children who are following typical and atypical developmental pathways. The articles offer a mixture of theory-based considerations, reviews of the literature, and new empirical data addressing fundamental aspects of cognitive development. Our commentary considers these articles in light of comparative and dimensional approaches to the study of typicality/atypicality and offers some considerations for researchers building bridges between typical and atypical development.
- ItemOpen AccessCategory markers or attributes: why do labels guide infants' inductive inferences?(Association for Psychological Science, 2008-12) Keates, Jeany; Graham, SusanTo clarify the role of labels in early induction, we compared 16-month-old infants' (n=114) generalization of target properties to test objects when objects were introduced by the experimenter in one of the following ways: (a) with a general attentional phrase, (b) highlighted with a flashlight and a general attentional phrase, (c) via a recorded voice that labeled the objects using a naming phrase, (d) with a label consisting of a count noun embedded within a naming phrase, (e) with a label consisting of a single word that was not marked as belonging to a particular grammatical form class, and (f) with a label consisting of an adjective. Infants relied on object labels to guide their inductive inferences only when the labels were presented referentially, embedded within an intentional naming phrase, and marked as count nouns. These results suggest that infants do not view labels as attributes of objects; rather, infants understand that count-noun labels are intentional markers denoting category membership.
- ItemOpen AccessChildren's communicative strategies in novel and familiar word situations(SAGE : First Language, 2006-10) Nayer, Samantha L.; Graham, SusanThe present studies investigated 3-year-olds’ ability to adapt their communication based on their parents’ knowledge state when requesting familiar and novel objects. Children participated in a toy retrieval game during which their parent was present or absent during toy introductions. In Study 1, children used more specific requests and cue combinations in the parent-absent group versus parent- present group when requesting familiar labelled objects. In Study 2, a similar game was administered with adaptations to reduce cognitive demands. Children produced more specific requests in the parent-absent group compared with the parent-present group when requesting an unlabelled novel object. The results indicate that three-year-olds have an emergent ability to adapt their communicative behaviours based on their parents’ knowledge state.
- ItemOpen AccessChildren's Interpretation of Filled Pauses in Referential Communication: Exploring the Functions of Discourse Status and Object Familiarity(2015-05-20) Owens, Sarah; Graham, SusanIn this dissertation I investigated children’s sensitivity to the presence of filled pauses (uh or um) in referential communication. Specifically, I examined whether children generate expectations about a speaker’s referential intent, based on the information that is conveyed by the presence of a filled pause. A visual world eye-tracking paradigm was used in all experiments. In Chapter 2, I examined whether 2- and 3-year-olds appreciate that filled pauses often precede reference to objects that are new to a discourse. Children viewed pairs of familiar objects on a screen and heard a speaker refer to one of the objects twice in succession. Next, children heard a critical utterance and were asked to look and point at either the discourse-given (i.e., previously mentioned) or discourse-new (i.e., previously unmentioned) object using a fluent (“Look at the ball!”) or disfluent (“Look at thee uh ball!”) expression. The results indicated that 3-year-old children, but not 2-year-old children, initially expected the speaker to continue to refer to given information in the critical utterance. Upon hearing a filled pause, however, both 2- and 3-year-old children’s looking patterns reflected increased looks to discourse-new objects, though the timing of the effect differed between the age groups. In Chapter 3, I examined whether children recognize that filled pauses may signal reference to unfamiliar objects. Across three experiments, 3- and 5-year-old children were presented with pairs of novel and familiar objects and heard a speaker refer to one of the objects using a fluent or disfluent expression. The salience of the speaker’s unfamiliarity with the novel referents, and the way in which the speaker referred to the novel referents (i.e., with a novel noun or description), varied across experiments. Both 3- and 5-year-old children successfully identified familiar and novel targets, but looking patterns failed to show effects of filled pauses on processing. Together, these findings demonstrate that young children have an emerging understanding of the role of filled pauses in speech. Under certain circumstances, children as young as 2-years-old will use filled pauses to guide their processing of referential communication. Chapter 4 summarizes and explores the aforementioned findings in greater detail.
- ItemOpen AccessChildren's sensitivity to the knowledge expressed in pedagogical and nonpedagogical contexts(American Psychological Association, 2013-03) Gelman, Susan A.; Ware, Elizabeth A.; Manczak, Erika M.; Graham, SusanThe present studies test 2 hypotheses: (1) that pedagogical contexts especially convey generic information (Csibra & Gergely, 2009) and (2) that young children are sensitive to this aspect of pedagogy. We examined generic language (e.g., "Elephants live in Africa") in 3 studies, focusing on informational versus narrative children's books (Study 1), the language of 6-year-old children and adults assuming either a pedagogical (teacher) or non-pedagogical (friend) role (Study 2), and the language of 5-year-old children and adults speaking to either an ignorant alien (pedagogical context) or a peer (nonpedagogical context; Study 3). Results suggest that generics are more frequent in informational than narrative texts. Furthermore, both adults and young children provide more generic language in pedagogical contexts and when assuming a pedagogical role. Together, the studies demonstrate that pedagogical contexts are distinctive in conveying generic information and that children are sensitive to this aspect of the language input. We suggest that generic knowledge is more useful in making predictions about the future and thus more highly valued during instruction.
- ItemOpen AccessChildren's use of syntactic and pragmatic knowledge in the interpretation of novel adjectives(Wiley : Society for Research In Child Development, 2006-01) Diesendruck, Gil; Hall, D. Geoffrey; Graham, SusanIn Study 1, English-speaking 3- and 4-year-olds heard a novel adjective used to label one of two objects and were asked for the referent of a different novel adjective. Children were more likely to select the unlabelled object if the two adjectives appeared prenominally (e.g., "a very DAXY dog") than as predicates (e.g., "a dog that is very DAXY"). Study 2 revealed that this response occurred only when both adjectives were prenominal. Study 3 replicated Study 1 with Hebrew-speaking 3- and 4-year-olds, even though in Hebrew both types of adjectives appear postnominally. Preschoolers understand that prenominal adjectives imply a restriction of the reference of nouns, and this knowledge motivates a contrastive pragmatic inference regarding the referents of different prenominal adjectives.
- ItemOpen AccessClass matters: 12-month-olds' word-object associations privilege content over function words(Blackwell, 2012-11) MacKenzie, Heather K.; Curtin, Suzanne; Graham, SusanA fundamental step in learning words is the development of an association between a sound pattern and an element in the environment. Here we explore the nature of this associative ability in 12-month-olds, examining whether it is constrained to privilege particular word forms over others. Forty-eight infants were presented with sets of novel English content-like word-object pairings (e.g. fep) or novel English function-like word-object (e.g. iv) pairings until they habituated. Results indicated that infants associated novel content-like words, but not the novel function-like words, with novel objects. These results demonstrate that the mechanism with which basic word-object associations are formed is remarkably sophisticated by the onset of productive language. That is, mere associative pairings are not sufficient to form mappings. Rather the system requires well-formed noun-like words to co-occur with objects in order for the linkages to arise.
- ItemOpen AccessCohort Profile: The All Our Babies pregnancy cohort (AOB)(Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association, 2017-01) Tough, Suzanne C.; McDonald, Sheila W.; Collisson, Beverly Anne; Graham, Susan; Kehler, Heather L.; Kingston, Dawn E.; Benzies, Karen MarieWhy was the cohort set up? All Our Babies (AOB) is a community-based, longitudinal pregnancy cohort developed to investigate the relationships between the prenatal and early life periods and outcomes for infants, children and mothers. The design of AOB follows a life course perspective, whereby the influence of early events on long-term health and development of both mothers and children are investigated through examining factors across life stages. AOB spans pregnancy, birth and early postpartum through childhood, and therefore provides the unique opportunity to describe the relations between prenatal events and early life development and to examine key factors that influence child and mother well-being over time. AOB was originally designed to measure maternal and infant outcomes during the perinatal period, with a particular emphasis on barriers and facilitators to accessing health care services in Calgary, Alberta. Approximately 1 year after recruitment had started, an additional objective,to examine biological and environmental determinants of adverse birth outcomes, specifically spontaneous pre-term birth, was added. Recognition of the opportunity to continue to collect relevant life course information on the AOB families, collaborations with content experts and securing additional funding has enabled ongoing follow-up of AOB mother-child dyads. The overall objective was to further investigate risk and protective factors for optimal child development, and to understand the trajectory and impact of poor maternal mental health over time. Mothers have completed questionnaires from pregnancy to 3 years postpartum, and consented to providing the research team with access to their obstetric medical records. Data collection for a 5-year follow-up questionnaire is ongoing. A subgroup within the cohort participated in the ‘prediction of preterm birth’ component and provided blood samples during pregnancy and an umbilical cord blood sample. The continuation of follow-up to 8 years is under way.
- ItemOpen AccessContextual influences on children's use of vocal affect cues during referential interpretation(Routledge, 2012-09) Berman, Jared M. J.; Graham, Susan; Chambers, Craig G.In three experiments, we investigated 5-year-olds' sensitivity to speaker vocal affect during referential interpretation in cases where the indeterminacy is or is not resolved by speech information. In Experiment 1, analyses of eye gaze patterns and pointing behaviours indicated that 5-year-olds used vocal affect cues at the point where an ambiguous description was encountered. In Experiments 2 and 3, we used unambiguous situations to investigate how the referential context influences the ability to use affect cues earlier in the utterance. Here, we found a differential use of speaker vocal affect whereby 5-year-olds' referential hypotheses were influenced by negative vocal affect cues in advance of the noun, but not by positive affect cues. Together, our findings reveal how 5-year-olds use a speaker's vocal affect to identify potential referents in different contextual situations and also suggest that children may be more attuned to negative vocal affect than positive vocal affect, particularly early in an utterance.
- ItemOpen AccessThe Contribution of Trade Books to Early Science Literacy: In and Out of School(Springer, 2008-01) Schroeder, Meadow; McKeough, Anne M.; Graham, Susan; Stock, Hayli R.; Bisanz, Gay L.Lifelong science literacy begins with attitudes and interests established early in childhood. The use of trade books (i.e., a literary work intended for sale to the general public) in North American school classrooms to support the development of science literacy invites an examination of the quality of science content disseminated to students. A total of 116 trade books were examined to: (a) determine the degree to which science trade books complement expected science knowledge outcomes outlined in school curricula, and (b) compare trade book content to the goals of scientific literacy. Analysis across four science topics, Dinosaurs, Space, Inheritance, and Growth and Life Properties, revealed that this body of children’s literature is inconsistent in its coverage of curricular goals and elements of scientific literacy. Because trade books represent children’s first exposure to science, these shortcomings should be addressed if these books are to be maximally effective in promoting science literacy. Implications for using trade books in the classroom are discussed.
- ItemOpen AccessThe development of preschoolers' appreciation of communicative ambiguity(Society for Research In Child Development, 2012-01) Nilsen, Elizabeth S.; Graham, SusanUsing a longitudinal design, preschoolers' appreciation of a listener's knowledge of the location of a hidden sticker after the listener was provided with an ambiguous or unambiguous description was assessed. Preschoolers (N=34) were tested at 3 time points, each 6 months apart (4, 4½, and 5 years). Eye-gaze measures demonstrated that preschoolers were sensitive to communicative ambiguity, even when the situation was unambiguous from their perspective. Preschoolers' explicit evaluations of ambiguity were characterized by an initial appreciation of message clarity followed by an appreciation of message ambiguity. Children's inhibitory control skills at 4-years-old related to their explicit detection of ambiguity at later ages. Results are discussed in terms of the developmental progression of preschoolers' awareness of communicative ambiguity.
- ItemOpen AccessDevelopment of topographical orientation skills in seven to ten year old children(2017) Liu, Irene; Iaria, Giuseppe; Graham, Susan; MacMaster, Frank; Drefs, Michelle; Uttal, David; Iaria, GiuseppeIn this dissertation, I investigated children’s development of topographical orientation skills. Specifically, I examined children’s performance on a navigation task in a virtual museum. In Chapter 2, I described the methodology used in this experiment. The computer task comprised of an interactive game that consisted of three sections: a practice motor task, a guided tour around a virtual museum, and a testing phase. After children were introduced to the environment, they were required to navigate from one location of the museum to a goal location as quickly as possible. Game performance was assessed by how much time and travel distance were required to reach a target location. In order to assess different cognitive domains supporting topographical orientation skills, a neuropsychological battery was administered. Finally, both children and parents completed self-rated questionnaires of the children’s general spatial behaviours. In Chapter 3, the main experimental results were described. Game performance was significantly correlated with age and several neuropsychological measures with emphasis on visual spatial processing. Game performance was also correlated with history of gaming experience and technology use. A multiple linear regression analysis revealed that game performance was best explained by performance on spatial working memory and visual-spatial organization tasks, once video game experience was accounted for. Only children’s self-reported ratings of their spatial orientation and navigation skills were correlated with one of two measures of game performance, whereas parents’ ratings were not. When compared to adult performance on the computer game, even the oldest group of children tested was still not as efficient as adults in solving the task, suggesting that development of topographical orientation skills continue well into adolescence and young adulthood. Chapter 4 summarized and explored the aforementioned findings in greater detail. Additional statistical analyses and discussion regarding the pilot study, a group of children who participated in a repeat session of the computer game, and a group of younger children tested are described in Appendix B.