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Simulating Infants’ Word-to-Object Mapping: The impact of focusing attention to relevant objects and reducing noise when learning language
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC).
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This project used a computer program to simulate how infants may learn new languages. The project drew inspiration from a report written by Jeffrey Mark Siskind in 1997, in which he described some main problems that infants face when learning a new language. The experiments conducted in this project relate to recent discoveries by Aimee E. Stahl and Lisa Feigenson suggesting that infants show an ability to focus their learning to objects in their surroundings that may be especially relevant at the moment. The computer program was then run with different settings to see how its ability to learn new words was affected by how many objects it was presented with when hearing a word and how often the objects presented were irrelevant to the word heard. Both factors affected the learning rate significantly. 

Abstract [sv]

I detta projekt användes ett datorprogram för att simulera hur spädbarn kan lära sig nya språk. Projektet hämtade inspiration från en rapport skriven av Jeffrey Mark Siskind 1997 där han beskrev några huvudsakliga problem som spädbarn möter när de lär sig ett nytt språk. Experimenten som utfördes i detta projekt relaterar till nya rön från Aimee E. Stahl och Lisa Feigenson som tyder på att spädbarn har en förmåga att fokusera sitt lärande till objekt i deras omgivning som kan vara särskilt relevanta för tillfället. Datorprogrammet kördes sedan med olika inställningar för att se hur dess förmåga att lära sig nya ord påverkades av hur många objekt det fick presenterat för sig när det hörde ett ord och hur ofta de presenterade objekten inte hade med det hörda ordet att göra. Båda faktorerna hade signifikant effekt på hur snabbt inlärningen skedde.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-166437OAI: diva2:811048
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Computer Science and Technology
Available from: 2015-05-28 Created: 2015-05-10 Last updated: 2015-05-28Bibliographically approved

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