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Use of a head camera to examine maternal input and its relation to 10- to 26-month-olds’ acquisition of mental and non-mental state vocabulary

  • Ted RUFFMAN (a1), Ben LORIMER (a1), Sarah VANIER (a1), Damian SCARF (a1), Kangning DU (a1) and Mele TAUMOEPEAU (a1)...


We examined the relation between maternal responsiveness and children's acquisition of mental and non-mental state vocabulary in 59 pairs of mothers and children aged 10 to 26 months as they engaged in a free-play episode. Children wore a head camera and responsiveness was defined as maternal talk that commented on the child's actions (e.g., when the child reached for or manipulated an object visible in the head camera). As hypothesized, maternal responsiveness correlated with both mental and non-mental state vocabulary acquisition in younger children (approximately 18 months and younger) but not older children. We posit a diminishing role for maternal responsiveness in language acquisition as children grow older.


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*Address for correspondence:Ted Ruffman Department of Psychology University of Otago PO Box 56 DunedinNew Zealand e-mail:


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Use of a head camera to examine maternal input and its relation to 10- to 26-month-olds’ acquisition of mental and non-mental state vocabulary

  • Ted RUFFMAN (a1), Ben LORIMER (a1), Sarah VANIER (a1), Damian SCARF (a1), Kangning DU (a1) and Mele TAUMOEPEAU (a1)...


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