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Dr Emily Mather


Why would a special FM process exist in adults, when it does not appear to exist in children? (2019)
Journal Article
O’Connor, R. J., Lindsay, S., Mather, E., & Riggs, K. J. (2019). Why would a special FM process exist in adults, when it does not appear to exist in children?. Cognitive neuroscience, https://doi.org/10.1080/17588928.2019.1574260

Cooper Greve, and Henson (this issue)  caution restraint before accepting that a fast mapping (FM) process exists in adults. We welcome this, but would also add that the original rationale for studying FM in adults is not currently supported by devel... Read More

Get your facts right : preschoolers systematically extend both object names and category-relevant facts (2016)
Journal Article
Holland, A. K., Mather, E., Simpson, A., & Riggs, K. J. (2016). Get your facts right : preschoolers systematically extend both object names and category-relevant facts. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(JUL), doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01064. ISSN 1664-1078

There is an ongoing debate over the extent to which language development shares common processing mechanisms with other domains of learning. It is well-established that toddlers will systematically extend object labels to similarly-shaped category ex... Read More

Young children's referent selection is guided by novelty for both words and actions (2016)
Journal Article
Dysart, E. L., Mather, E., & Riggs, K. J. (2016). Young children's referent selection is guided by novelty for both words and actions. Journal of experimental child psychology, 146, (231-237). doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2016.01.003. ISSN 0022-0965

Young children are biased to select novel, name-unknown objects as referents of novel labels (e.g., Markman, 1990) and similarly favour novel, action-unknown objects as referents of novel actions (Riggs, Mather, Hyde & Simpson, 2015). What process un... Read More

Parallels between action-object mapping and word-object mapping in young children (2015)
Journal Article
Riggs, K. J., Mather, E., Hyde, G., & Simpson, A. (2016). Parallels between action-object mapping and word-object mapping in young children. Cognitive science, 40(4), (992-1006). doi:10.1111/cogs.12262. ISSN 0364-0213

© 2016 Cognitive Science Society, Inc. Across a series of four experiments with 3- to 4-year-olds we demonstrate how cognitive mechanisms supporting noun learning extend to the mapping of actions to objects. In Experiment 1 (n = 61) the demonstration... Read More

Priming by relational integration in perceptual identification and Stroop colour naming (2013)
Journal Article
Mather, E., Estes, Z., & Jones, L. L. (2014). Priming by relational integration in perceptual identification and Stroop colour naming. Journal of Memory and Language, 71(1), (57-70). doi:10.1016/j.jml.2013.10.004. ISSN 0749-596X

Integrative priming is the facilitated recognition of a target word following a prime word with which it can be combined to produce a sub-type of the target (e.g., a lake bird is a type of bird). Such priming occurs even in the absence of lexical ass... Read More

Novelty, attention, and challenges for developmental psychology (2013)
Journal Article
Mather, E. (2013). Novelty, attention, and challenges for developmental psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(AUG), https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00491

In this brief essay, I seek to demonstrate the significance of exploratory behavior for understanding cognitive development. Historically, organisms were thought to act solely in the service of achieving biologically significant goals, such as satisf... Read More

Bootstrapping the early lexicon: how do children use old knowledge to create new meanings? (2013)
Journal Article
Mather, E. (2013). Bootstrapping the early lexicon: how do children use old knowledge to create new meanings?. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00096

Compared to other aspects of language development, such as acquiring grammar, we perhaps take for granted the complexity of building a lexicon. More than 50 years ago the philosopher W.V.O. Quine provided a now famous example of what makes word learn... Read More

The role of novelty in early word learning (2012)
Journal Article
Mather, E., & Plunkett, K. (2012). The role of novelty in early word learning. Cognitive science, 36(7), (1157-1177). doi:10.1111/j.1551-6709.2012.01239.x. ISSN 0364-0213

What mechanism implements the mutual exclusivity bias to map novel labels to objects without names? Prominent theoretical accounts of mutual exclusivity (e.g., Markman, 1989, 1990) propose that infants are guided by their knowledge of object names. H... Read More

The impact of novel labels on visual processing during infancy (2010)
Journal Article
Houston-Price, C., Schafer, G., & Mather, E. (2011). The impact of novel labels on visual processing during infancy. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29(4), 783-805. doi:10.1348/2044-835X.002008

The impact of novel labels on visual processing was investigated across two experiments with infants aged between 9 and 21 months. Infants viewed pairs of images across a series of preferential looking trials. On each trial, one image was novel, and... Read More

Mutual exclusivity and phonological novelty constrain word learning at 16 months (2010)
Journal Article
Plunkett, K., & Mather, E. (2011). Mutual exclusivity and phonological novelty constrain word learning at 16 months. Journal of child language, 38(5), 933-950. doi:10.1017/S0305000910000401

Studies report that infants as young as 1 ; 3 to 1 ; 5 will seek out a novel object in response to hearing a novel label (e.g. Halberda, 2003; Markman, Wasow & Hansen, 2003). This behaviour is commonly known as the 'mutual exclusivity' response (Ma... Read More