A child’s language ability may benefit their working memory, according to a new study from Indiana University. Spoken language is shown to have more effect than pictures when getting a child to direct their eyes to an object.
One conclusion from researchers, Catarina Vales and Linda Smith:
“People have thought children have difficulty with language because they don’t have enough working memory to learn language. This [research] turns it around because it suggests that language may also make working memory more effective.”
Smith, Professor in Psychological and Brain Science, added:
“What we’ve shown is that in 3-year-old children, words activate memories that rapidly deploy attention and lead children to find the relevant object in a cluttered array. Words call up an idea that is more robust than an image and to which we more rapidly respond. Words have a way of calling up what you know that filters the environment for you.”