Narrowing in face and speech perception in infancy: Developmental change in the relations between domains
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Although prior research has established that perceptual narrowing reflects the influence of experience on the development of face and speech processing, it is unclear whether narrowing in the two domains is related. A within-participant design (N = 72) was used to investigate discrimination of own- and other-race faces and native and non-native speech sounds in 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month-old infants. For face and speech discrimination, whereas 3-month-olds discriminated own-race faces and native speech sounds as well as other-race faces and non-native speech sounds, older infants discriminated only own-race faces and native speech sounds. Narrowing in face and narrowing in speech were not correlated at 6 months, negatively correlated at 9 months, and positively correlated at 12 months. The findings reveal dynamic developmental changes in the relation between modalities during the first year of life.
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