On 14th of June, Priya gave a great talk about her study “The Role of Ostensive-referential Cues in Infant Perspective-taking” at Perspective-taking Workshop in Lancaster University. Below is the abstract of her talk:
Humans are expert learners. We learn implicitly, through mechanisms like statistical learning, and explicitly from others through cultural learning. Cultural learning can occur either through imitation, instruction or collaboration, all of which are argued to involve different levels of perspective-taking. Two types of communicative cues have been suggested to be key to information transmission through explicit pedagogical instruction: ostensive cues such as direct eye contact or infant directed speech (IDS) convey the intention of communication, and referential cues such as pointing or gaze shifts direct attention to the source of the information to be learned. I will be discussing two studies that investigate the effects of ostensive-referential cues on infant learning and information transmission. Study 1 investigated attention allocation in 9-month-old infants, and Study 2 investigated information transmission in 2-year-old infants. Together, these studies suggest that infants do not seem to be using ostensive-referential cues to initiate perspective-taking, and to preferentially learn and transmit relevant information. Instead, infants seem to be relying on low-level perceptual salience to allocate their attention and behaviours.