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Humans have the remarkable capacity to learn words from a single instance. The goal of this study was to examine the impact of initial learning context on the understanding of novel word usage using event-related brain potentials. Participants saw known and unknown words in strongly or weakly constraining sentence contexts. After each sentence context, word(More)
Adults can incrementally combine information from speech with astonishing speed to anticipate future words. Concurrently, a growing body of work suggests that vocabulary ability is crucially related to lexical processing skills in children. However, little is known about this relationship with predictive sentence processing in children or adults. We explore(More)
We assess brain areas involved in speech production using a recently developed lesion-symptom mapping method (voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping, VLSM) with 50 aphasic patients with left-hemisphere lesions. Conversational speech was collected through a standardized biographical interview, and used to determine mean length of utterance in morphemes (MLU),(More)
When hearing a novel name, children tend to select a novel object rather than a familiar one, a bias known as disambiguation. Using online processing measures with 18-, 24-, and 30-month-olds, we investigate how the development of this bias relates to word learning. Children's proportion of looking time to a novel object after hearing a novel name related(More)
Variations in the amount and nature of early language to which children are exposed have been linked to their subsequent ability (e.g. Huttenlocher, Haight, Bryk, Seltzer & Lyons, 1991; Hart & Risley, 1995). In three computational simulations, we explore how differences in linguistic experience can explain differences in word learning ability due to changes(More)
We investigated the impact of contextual constraint on the integration of novel word meanings into semantic memory. Adults read strongly or weakly constraining sentences ending in known or unknown (novel) words as scalp-recorded electrical brain activity was recorded. Word knowledge was assessed via a lexical decision task in which recently seen known and(More)
Despite extensive evidence that adults and children rapidly integrate world knowledge to generate expectancies for upcoming language, little work has explored how this knowledge is initially acquired and used. We explore this question in 3- to 10-year-old children and adults by measuring the degree to which sentences depicting recently learned connections(More)
Children seem able to efficiently interpret a variety of linguistic cues during speech comprehension, yet have difficulty interpreting sources of nonlinguistic and paralinguistic information that accompany speech. The current study asked whether (paralinguistic) voice-activated role knowledge is rapidly interpreted in coordination with a linguistic cue (a(More)
UNLABELLED Infants, 18-24 months old who have difficulty learning words compared to their peers are often referred to as "late talkers" (LTs). These children are at risk for continued language delays as they grow older. One critical question is how to best identify which LTs will have language disorders, such as Specific Language Impairment (SLI) at school(More)
We examined contextual effects on word learning using event-related brain potential (ERP) methodology. Adult participants first read known and unknown novel words in strongly and weakly constraining sentence contexts. Then, to assess acquisition of word meaning, they rated the plausibility of probe sentences in which these same words served as objects of a(More)