Connecting stimulus-driven attention to the properties of infant-directed speech – Is exaggerated intonation also more surprising?

Okko Räsänen, Sofoklis Kakouros, Melanie Soderstrom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The exaggerated intonation and special rhythmic properties of infant-directed speech (IDS) have been hypothesized to attract infant’s attention to the speech stream. However, studies investigating IDS in the context of models of attention are few. A number of such models suggest that surprising or novel perceptual inputs attract attention, where novelty can be operationalized as the statistical predictability of the stimulus in a context. Since prosodic patterns such as F0 contours are accessible to young infants who are also adept statistical learners, the present paper investigates a hypothesis that pitch contours in IDS are less predictable than those in adult-directed speech (ADS), thereby efficiently tapping into the basic attentional mechanisms of the listeners. Results from analyses with naturalistic IDS and ADS speech show that IDS has lower overall predictability of intonation across neighboring syllables even when the F0 contours in both speaking styles are normalized to the same frequency range.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
PublisherCOGNITIVE SCIENCE SOCIETY
Pages998-1003
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9911967-6-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAnnual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jul 201729 Jul 2017
Conference number: 39

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Abbreviated titleCogSci
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period26/07/201729/07/2017

Keywords

  • language acquisition
  • infant-directed speech
  • statistical learning
  • attention
  • stimulus predictability

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  • Cite this

    Räsänen, O., Kakouros, S., & Soderstrom, M. (2017). Connecting stimulus-driven attention to the properties of infant-directed speech – Is exaggerated intonation also more surprising? In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 998-1003). COGNITIVE SCIENCE SOCIETY.