Linguistic genius of babies

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During our first lecture, we mentioned about John Watson's famous "Baby Alber study." Here is the video of this experiment.Albert was a nine months baby. He did not show any distress or fear of a white rat when it was placed around him. Then, Waston made a loud noise when Alber touched the rat and Albert did show fear when he heard it. After several time of this combination, when Albert was presented only with the rat, he still showed fear and tried to turn away. It provided an example of stimulus generation.

This experiment revoked me another baby experiment I watched several years ago. It was based upon foundation of "stimulus generation" indicated by "Baby Albert Study". In the experiment, baby was given two different sounds. At the same time of sound changed, a black box would light up and a panda pounded a drum. As a result, baby turned over to the panda. After several times of paring these two stimuli, scientists presented the baby two different words, whose pronunciations were so similar that most adult non-native speakers could not differentiated them. The baby did turned over his head. With post experiments, scientist concluded that babies are linguistic genius and they can learn no matter what kind of language if they are in that environment.

Why I cannot be linguistic genius as babies are. I found a video concerning this. The video shows that it is all about our brain. Our brain changed with our growth and it goes to be specific. During the critical period of learning language, our brains absorb statistics and form the "memory" about these.

Unfortunately, as a non-native speaker who has learned English for several years, I still have trouble with it. As we known, one goal of science is to improve our life. How to manipulate the critical period of learning language will be a significant topic. Hopefully one day we can figure it out someday and it can help me to master English better.

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This page contains a single entry by xuxxx921 published on October 9, 2011 9:14 PM.

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