Social interaction shapes babbling: testing parallels between birdsong and speech.

  title={Social interaction shapes babbling: testing parallels between birdsong and speech.},
  author={Michael H Goldstein and Andrew B. King and Meredith J. West},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  volume={100 13},
Birdsong is considered a model of human speech development at behavioral and neural levels. Few direct tests of the proposed analogs exist, however. Here we test a mechanism of phonological development in human infants that is based on social shaping, a selective learning process first documented in songbirds. By manipulating mothers' reactions to their 8-month-old infants' vocalizations, we demonstrate that phonological features of babbling are sensitive to nonimitative social stimulation… CONTINUE READING
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