Some cognitive tools for word learning: The role of working memory and goal preference

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1115-1117 (2001)
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We propose that Bloom's focus on cognitive factors involved in word learning still lacks a broader perspective. We emphasize the crucial relevance of working memory in learning elements of language. Specifically, we demonstrate through our data that in impaired populations knowledge of some linguistic elements can be dissociated according to the subcomponent of working memory (visual or verbal) involved in a task. Further, although Bloom's concentration on theory of mind as a precondition for word learning is certainly correct, theory of mind being a necessary condition does not make it a sufficient one. On the basis of our studies we point out the importance of a theory of mind related goal preference in acquiring spatial language. In general, we claim that more specific cognitive preferences and constraints should be outlined in detail for the preconditions of acquiring linguistic elements



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