Viridiana L. Benitez

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The ability to control attention - by inhibiting pre-potent, yet no longer relevant information - is an essential skill in all of human learning, and increasing evidence suggests that this ability is enhanced in language learning environments in which the learner is managing and using more than one language. One question waiting to be addressed is whether(More)
Stability and flexibility are fundamental to an intelligent cognitive system. Here, we examined the relationship between stability in selective attention and explicit control of flexible attention. Preschoolers were tested on the Dimension Preference (DP) task, which measures the stability of selective attention to an implicitly primed dimension, and the(More)
Three experiments investigated competition between word-object pairings in a cross-situational word-learning paradigm. Adults were presented with One-Word pairings, where a single word labeled a single object, and Two-Word pairings, where two words labeled a single object. In addition to measuring learning of these two pairing types, we measured competition(More)
There has been increasing interest in the role of early attention in the context of word learning. There has also been growing interest in attentional differences between bilinguals and monolinguals. The present study examined the relationship between mutual exclusivity and attentional control by comparing bilingual children whose attentional control is(More)
Research on the cognitive consequences of bilingualism suggests a bilingual advantage: early experience with more than one language predicts better inhibitory control of attention. The mechanisms responsible for this advantage, however, are not well understood. We ask whether depth and time-course of memory encoding may be responsible. We measured bilingual(More)
Learning the meanings of words involves not only forming connections between individual words and concepts but also building a network of connections across objects and words. Previous studies reveal that infants and adults can learn word-referent links across multiple ambiguous training instances by tracking the statistical co-occurrence of labels and(More)
Selective attention requires both the ability to inhibit irrelevant distractors, as well as the ability to activate and focus on relevant stimuli. Research in adults suggests that these are two separate processes that function together during efficient attentional selection. Less is known about how these two processes contribute to selective attention in(More)
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