General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 11:00 to 11:30 Symposium
Early word segmentation and mapping in preterm infants: data from an audiovisual task
Speaker: Laura Bosch Galcerán, Universitat de Barcelona


Typically-developing Spanish- and Catalan-learning infants can extract two simple (monosyllabic) word-forms from fluent speech by six months of age. However, when infants born preterm were tested with the same paradigm it was not until eleven months of age (corrected for gestation) that this auditory-only task could reliably be solved. At that age, preterm participants were eventually showing the expected novelty preference at test, the preference pattern found in younger full term infants (8-month-olds). Because an early ability to segment speech and extract possible words to be linked to referents is fundamental in the process of building a first lexicon, we decided to further analyze these segmentation and mapping abilities in a population of healthy preterm infants. Results from a sample of moderate preterm infants (33.8 mean gestation weeks) will be reported, as performance on the auditory-only task by a previously tested moderate preterm group had revealed clear gains in segmentation between 8 and 11 months of age. An audiovisual task was designed using natural language utterances in infant-directed speech, containing repetitions of two different words, and simple geometrical shapes as referents for these words. Critically, during familiarization the shapes on the screen moved aligned with word onsets, favoring not only segmentation but also word-object mappings. At test, fixation time to target objects was measured while both objects remained static on the screen and repetitions of the two words were successively played for four test trials. Results from two groups of 9-month-olds (N=20 in each group) differing in gestational age at birth (full term vs. moderate preterm) revealed a highly significant difference (p < .001), with only full term participants showing mean target fixations significantly different from chance (60% vs. 49% in the preterm group). Factors responsible for preterm's failure to solve this double segmentation and mapping task will be discussed.
Symposium: Preterm children`s language abilities at different ages and their relations with other factors.
Place: Room A-14

Other activities in Symposium: Preterm children`s language abilities at different ages and their relations with other factors.
11:30 h. to 12:00 h.Symposium

Estonian preterm and full term children’s early vocabulary

Speaker: Astra Schults, University of Tartu
12:00 h. to 12:30 h.Symposium

Executive functions and language development in preterm and full-term children

Speaker: Miguel Pérez Pereira, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
12:30 h. to 13:00 h.Symposium

Literacy in very preterm children. Delayed or atypical development?