Children's Recognition of Cartoon Voices We examined developmental changes in talker recognition skills by assessing 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children's recognition of 20 cartoon characters' voices. For each participant, the character set was subdivided into more and less familiar talkers based on the participant's ability to name each character. Four- and 5-year-old children recognized more ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2002
Children's Recognition of Cartoon Voices
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melanie J. Spence, PhD
    The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Pamela R. Rollins
    The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Susan Jerger
    The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Contact author: Melanie J. Spence, PhD, Box 830688, GR 4.1, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX 75083-0688. E-mail: mspence@utdallas.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2002
Children's Recognition of Cartoon Voices
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2002, Vol. 45, 214-222. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/016)
History: Received November 29, 2000 , Accepted October 15, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2002, Vol. 45, 214-222. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/016)
History: Received November 29, 2000; Accepted October 15, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 26

We examined developmental changes in talker recognition skills by assessing 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children's recognition of 20 cartoon characters' voices. For each participant, the character set was subdivided into more and less familiar talkers based on the participant's ability to name each character. Four- and 5-year-old children recognized more of the voices (81% and 86%, respectively) than did 3-year-olds (61%), although performance of all age groups was well above chance. All groups of children were more accurate at recognizing more familiar than less familiar characters. These results suggest that indexical information about a talker becomes an integral part of the perceptual record in memory and can be used by children at a very young age. These results are important because children's ability to learn vocal sources may be an important aid to the development of spoken word recognition.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by Grant DC 00421 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to The University of Texas at Dallas and by Texas Advanced Research Project Grant #009741035 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Funding for this research also was provided by the Callier Excellence in Education Fund and a Callier Scholar award to M. Spence. We thank the children who participated and the preschool personnel who allowed us to conduct this research within their schools. We also are grateful for the assistance of Karen Thierry, Eric Wood, and Laura Woessner with data collection and stimulus preparation.
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