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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-16

Evidence of animacy effects in novel word learning via fast mapping and explicit encoding in adults


1 Division of Speech Language Pathology, Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Medical College Campus, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
2 Department of Speech Language Pathology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Medical College Campus, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
P Manju Mohan
Speech Language Pathologist, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Medical College Campus, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 011, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jisha.JISHA_5_19

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Introduction: Animacy effects refer to the processing advantage of animate concepts over inanimate concepts, and this effect has been studied using episodic memory tasks. However, animacy effects in the context of novel word learning, specifically through fast mapping (FM) and explicit encoding (EE), remain under-researched. Furthermore, the role of overnight consolidation of animate and inanimate novel words encoded through FM and EE remains unknown. Hence, the current study was undertaken to explore animacy effects in novel word learning through FM and EE and its modulation following overnight consolidation. Methods: Sixty-four healthy adults learned 24 novel words through standard FM and EE tasks and completed a delayed recognition test on the day of encoding and on the following day. Results: Results revealed a reliable animacy effect on both days in the recognition rates, with FM encoded-words reaching statistical significance. Of the encoding methods, EE was found to be superior than FM for novel word learning, but overnight consolidation leads to the decline of words encoded via EE alone. Overnight forgetting affected animate and inanimate words equally. Conclusion: The findings suggest the role of animacy in novel word learning tasks based on FM and EE. However, the data-driven cues recommend that future studies should focus on forgetting rates of animate and inanimate words as the encoding advantage noted for animate words did not influence forgetting rates following overnight consolidation.


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