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Though they are learning words at 10 months old, infants tend to grasp the names of objects that interest them rather than whatever the speaker thinks is important, a new study finds.
And they do it quickly.
The infants were able to learn two new words in five minutes with just five presentations for each word and object, said study leader Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University. Importantly, the babies paired a new word to the object they liked best, regardless of what object the speaker referred to.
"The baby naturally assumes that the word you're speaking goes with the object that they think is interesting, not the object that you show an interest in," Hirsh-Pasek said.