Probing communication-induced memory biases in preverbal infants: Two replication attempts of Yoon, Johnson and Csibra (2008).
Silverstein, P., Wetermann, P., Gliga, T., Parise, E. (2018). Probing communication-induced memory biases in preverbal infants: Two replication attempts of Yoon, Johnson, and Csibra (2008). Poster presented at the 21st biennial meeting of the International Congress of Infant Studies, Philadelphia, USA.
In a seminal study, Yoon, Johnson and Csibra [PNAS, 105, 36 (2008)] showed that nine- month-old infants retained qualitatively different information about novel objects in communicative and non-communicative contexts. In a communicative context, the infants encoded the identity of novel objects at the expense of encoding their location, which was preferentially retained in non-communicative contexts. This result has not yet been replicated. Here we attempted two replications, while also including a measure of eye- tracking to obtain more detail of infants' attention allocation during stimulus presentation. Experiment 1 was designed following the methods described in the original paper. After discussion with one of the original authors, some key changes were made to the methodology in Experiment 2. Neither experiment replicated the results of the original study, with Bayes Factor Analysis suggesting moderate support for the null hypothesis. Both experiments found differential attention allocation in communicative and non- communicative contexts, with more looking to the face in communicative than non- communicative contexts, and more looking to the hand in non-communicative than communicative contexts. High and low level accounts of these attentional differences are discussed.