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Adult Fast-Mapping Memory Research Is Based on a Misinterpretation of Developmental-Word-Learning Data

O'Connor, Richard; Riggs, Kevin

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Abstract

‘Fast mapping’ is often used to refer to children’s remarkable ability to learn the meanings of new words under minimal exposure conditions, in ambiguous contexts. While it is one thing to claim that children are capable of learning words this way, it is another to claim that this ability relies on a specific fast mapping neurocognitive mechanism that is critical for early word learning. Yet that claim has recently been made in adult memory research, and has been used as a theoretical justification for research into an adult fast mapping mechanism. In this review, we explain why the existence of such a mechanism in children is not supported by developmental research and explore the implications for adult fast mapping data and research.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Aug 12, 2019
Print ISSN 0963-7214
Publisher Association for Psychological Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation O'Connor, R., & Riggs, K. (2019). Adult Fast-Mapping Memory Research Is Based on a Misinterpretation of Developmental-Word-Learning Data. Current directions in psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society, https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721419858426
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721419858426
Keywords Word learning; Fast mapping; Hippocampus
Publisher URL https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0963721419858426

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