Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Aslin, Richard N.
Location University of Rochester
Primary Field Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
 Election Citation
Aslin is a world leader in studying perceptual and speech development in human infants. His methods have shaped the nature of infant research. His work has demonstrated remarkable perceptual abilities of infants and has illuminated the mechanisms by which they learn the structure of their visual and linguistic world.
 Research Interests
Aslin uses a variety of techniques to study how young infants, children, and adults learn from structured stimulus materials created in the lab to control for many extraneous variables that are present in naturally occurring stimuli. His research on implicit mechanisms of learning, devoid of reinforcement or feedback, established a general approach that has been called statistical learning because it entails sensitivity to the distributional properties of perceptual input. Using eye-trackers to study how attention is allocated to visual and auditory input, Aslin has documented the remarkably ability of infants to learn the underlying structure of information, to anticipate upcoming information, and to combine difference sources of information. He has also used neuroimaging techniques to reveal which areas of the infant and adult brain are activated during statistical learning. His studies of language processing in infants, children, and adults have revealed remarkably sophisticated abilities to discriminate speech sounds, adapt to new speech categories, segment words from fluent speech, recognize the meanings of words, and form grammatical categories. His studies of visual learning have uncovered powerful mechanisms for extracting new features that are combined to form a hierarchy of representations for both familiar and novel objects and scenes.

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