Verbal memories and numerical representations in the infant brain
Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Padova
When do babies build their first memories? In the first part of my talk I will present a series of studies that investigate this subject under a new perspective that emphasizes the study of phonological memory as a journey in its making during infancy. The studies provide insights into how memories are initially formed and sometimes stored for longer periods, how this is made possible by the rewiring of our neuronal circuitries, and how babies’ memory processes and capacities vary as their brain evolves in the first months of life. In the second part of my talk I will present recent studies of our group, which investigate the interaction between linguistic processing and numerical discrimination capacities in young infants. The studies illustrate how specific features of the stimuli affect numerical discrimination abilities and modulate the putative limits of the numerical representational systems. I will also provide suggestive evidence about the neural mechanisms underlying spatial-numerical associations in 6-7 month-olds infants.