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Developmental Science

Barbara R Braams, Juliet Y Davidow, Leah H Somerville
Adolescents take more risks when peers monitor their behavior. However, it is largely unknown how different types of peer influence affect adolescent decision-making. In this study, we investigate how information about previous choices of peers differentially influences decision-making in adolescence and young adulthood. Participants (N = 99, age range 12-22) completed an economic choice task in which choice options were systematically varied on levels of risk and ambiguity. On each trial, participants selected between a safer choice (low variability in outcome) and a riskier choice (high variability in outcome)...
August 14, 2018: Developmental Science
Elika Bergelson, Andrei Amatuni, Shannon Dailey, Sharath Koorathota, Shaelise Tor
Measurements of infants' quotidian experiences provide critical information about early development. However, the role of sampling methods in providing these measurements is rarely examined. Here we directly compare language input from hour-long video-recordings and daylong audio-recordings within the same group of 44 infants at 6 and 7 months. We compared 12 measures of language quantity and lexical diversity, talker variability, utterance-type, and object presence, finding moderate correlations across recording-types...
August 10, 2018: Developmental Science
Stella F Lourenco, Lauren S Aulet
There is general agreement that humans represent numerical, spatial, and temporal magnitudes from early in development. However, there is disagreement about whether different magnitudes converge within a general magnitude system and whether this system supports behavioral demonstrations of cross-magnitude interactions at different developmental time points. Using a longitudinal design, we found a relation between children's cross-magnitude interactions assessed at two developmental time points with different behavioral measures...
August 8, 2018: Developmental Science
Nadia Chernyak, Paul L Harris, Sara Cordes
Recent work has documented that despite preschool-aged children's understanding of social norms surrounding sharing, they fail to share their resources equally in many contexts. Here we explored two hypotheses for this failure: an insufficient motivation hypothesis and an insufficient cognitive resources hypothesis. With respect to the latter, we specifically explored whether children's numerical cognition-their understanding of the cardinal principle-might underpin their abilities to share equally. In Experiment 1, preschoolers' numerical cognition fully mediated age-related changes in children's fair sharing...
July 30, 2018: Developmental Science
Sudha Arunachalam, Shaun Dennis
Verbs are often uttered before the events they describe. By 2 years of age, toddlers can learn from such an encounter. Hearing a novel verb in transitive sentences (e.g. The boy lorped the cat), even with no visual referent present, they later map it to a causative meaning (e.g. feed) (e.g. Yuan & Fisher, ). How much semantic detail does their verb representation include on this first, underinformative, encounter? Is the representation sparse, including only information for which they have evidence, or do toddlers make more specific guesses about the verb's meaning? In two experiments (N = 76, mean age 27 months), we address this using an event type studied by Naigles and Kako (); they found that when toddlers hear a novel transitive verb while simultaneously viewing a non-causative referent-a contact event such as patting-they map the verb to the contact event...
July 24, 2018: Developmental Science
Flora Schwartz, Justine Epinat-Duclos, Ira Noveck, Jérôme Prado
Older interlocutors are more likely than younger ones to make pragmatic inferences, that is, inferences that go beyond the linguistically encoded meaning of a sentence. Here we ask whether pragmatic development is associated with increased activity in brain structures associated with inference-making or in those associated with Theory of Mind. We employed a reading task that presents vignettes in one of two versions, one of which is expected to prompt more pragmatic processing. Both versions present a major premise containing three possibilities (e...
July 20, 2018: Developmental Science
Hugh Rabagliati, Brock Ferguson, Casey Lew-Williams
Everyone agrees that infants possess general mechanisms for learning about the world, but the existence and operation of more specialized mechanisms is controversial. One mechanism-rule learning-has been proposed as potentially specific to speech, based on findings that 7-month-olds can learn abstract repetition rules from spoken syllables (e.g. ABB patterns: wo-fe-fe, ga-tu-tu…) but not from closely matched stimuli, such as tones. Subsequent work has shown that learning of abstract patterns is not simply specific to speech...
July 16, 2018: Developmental Science
Evelyne Mercure, Elena Kushnerenko, Laura Goldberg, Harriet Bowden-Howl, Kimberley Coulson, Mark H Johnson, Mairéad MacSweeney
Infants as young as 2 months can integrate audio and visual aspects of speech articulation. A shift of attention from the eyes towards the mouth of talking faces occurs around 6 months of age in monolingual infants. However, it is unknown whether this pattern of attention during audiovisual speech processing is influenced by speech and language experience in infancy. The present study investigated this question by analysing audiovisual speech processing in three groups of 4- to 8-month-old infants who differed in their language experience: monolinguals, unimodal bilinguals (infants exposed to two or more spoken languages) and bimodal bilinguals (hearing infants with Deaf mothers)...
July 16, 2018: Developmental Science
Shari Liu, Gorana Gonzalez, Felix Warneken
Human prosocial behaviors are supported by early-emerging psychological processes that detect and fulfill the needs of others. However, little is known about the mechanisms that enable children to deliver benefits to others at costs to the self, which requires weighing other-regarding and self-serving preferences. We used an intertemporal choice paradigm to systematically study and compare these behaviors in 5-year-old children. Our results show that other-benefiting and self-benefiting behavior share a common decision-making process that integrates delay and reward...
July 6, 2018: Developmental Science
David J Bridgett, Jody M Ganiban, Jenae M Neiderhiser, Misaki N Natsuaki, Daniel S Shaw, David Reiss, Leslie D Leve
The origins of top-down self-regulation are attributed to genetic and socialization factors as evidenced by high heritability estimates from twin studies and the influential role of parenting. However, recent evidence suggests that parenting behavior itself is affected by parents' own top-down self-regulation. Because children's top-down self-regulation is influenced by genetic factors and parenting is influenced by top-down self-regulation, the effects of parenting on children's top-down self-regulation identified in prior studies may partially reflect passive gene-environment correlation...
July 6, 2018: Developmental Science
Mikko J Peltola, Santeri Yrttiaho, Jukka M Leppänen
Infants have a strong tendency to look at faces. We examined individual variations in this attentional bias in 7-month-old infants by using a face-distractor competition paradigm and tested in a longitudinal sample whether these variations were associated with outcomes reflecting social behavior at 24 and 48 months of age (i.e., spontaneous helping, emotion understanding, mentalizing, and callous-unemotional traits; N = 100-138). The results showed a robust and distinct attention bias to faces at 7 months, particularly when faces were displaying a fearful expression...
July 3, 2018: Developmental Science
Wanze Xie, Brittany M Mallin, John E Richards
The study of brain functional connectivity is crucial to understanding the neural mechanisms underlying the improved behavioral performance and amplified ERP responses observed during infant sustained attention. Previous investigations on the development of functional brain connectivity during infancy are primarily confined to the use of functional and structural MRI techniques. The current study examined the relation between infant sustained attention and brain functional connectivity and their development during infancy with high-density EEG recordings...
July 2, 2018: Developmental Science
Jutta L Mueller, Angela D Friederici, Claudia Männel
Infants' ability to learn complex linguistic regularities from early on has been revealed by electrophysiological studies indicating that 3-month-olds, but not adults, can automatically detect non-adjacent dependencies between syllables. While different ERP responses in adults and infants suggest that both linguistic rule learning and its link to basic auditory processing undergo developmental changes, systematic investigations of the developmental trajectories are scarce. In the present study, we assessed 2- and 4-year-olds' ERP indicators of pitch discrimination and linguistic rule learning in a syllable-based oddball design...
June 27, 2018: Developmental Science
Andrew N Meltzoff, Joni N Saby, Peter J Marshall
The organization of body representations in the adult brain has been well documented. Little is understood about this aspect of brain organization in human infancy. The current study employed electroencephalography (EEG) with 60-day-old infants to test the distribution of brain responses to tactile stimulation of three different body parts: hand, foot, and lip. Analyses focused on a prominent positive response occurring at 150-200 ms in the somatosensory evoked potential at central and parietal electrode sites...
June 25, 2018: Developmental Science
Laura Maffongelli, Katharina Antognini, Moritz M Daum
Throughout life, actions and language are inherent to social interactions. A long-standing research question in cognitive neuroscience concerns the interrelation between verbal and non-verbal forms of social interactions, that is, language and action. Perceiving how actions are performed and why they are performed in a certain way is crucial for the observer to anticipate the actor's goal and to prepare an appropriate response. It is suggested that predicting upcoming events in a given action sequence can be compared to the way we process the language information flow...
June 19, 2018: Developmental Science
Sophie von Stumm, Robert Plomin
School performance is one of the most stable and heritable psychological characteristics. Notwithstanding, monozygotic twins (MZ), who have identical genotypes, differ in school performance. These MZ differences result from non-shared environments that do not contribute to the similarity within twin pairs. Because to date few non-shared environmental factors have been reliably associated with MZ differences in school performance, they are thought to be idiosyncratic and due to chance, suggesting that the effect of non-shared environments on MZ differences are age- and trait-specific...
June 19, 2018: Developmental Science
Yue Yu, Asheley R Landrum, Elizabeth Bonawitz, Patrick Shafto
How can education optimize transmission of knowledge while also fostering further learning? Focusing on children at the cusp of formal schooling (N = 180, age = 4.0-6.0 y), we investigate learning after direct instruction by a knowledgeable teacher, after questioning by a knowledgeable teacher, and after questioning by a naïve informant. Consistent with previous findings, instruction by a knowledgeable teacher allows effective information transmission but at the cost of exploration and further learning. Critically, we find a dual benefit for questioning by a knowledgeable teacher: Such pedagogical questioning both effectively transmits knowledge and fosters exploration and further learning, regardless of whether the question was directed to the child or directed to a third party and overheard by the child...
June 19, 2018: Developmental Science
Moniek A J Zeegers, Wieke de Vente, Milica Nikolić, Mirjana Majdandžić, Susan M Bögels, Cristina Colonnesi
The main aim of this study was to test whether mothers' (n = 116) and fathers' (n = 116) mind-mindedness predicts infants' physiological emotion regulation (heart rate variability; HRV) across the first year of life. Three hypotheses were examined: (a) parents' mind-mindedness at 4 and 12 months predicts infants' HRV at 12 months over and above infants' initial HRV levels at 4 months, (b) mothers' and fathers' mind-mindedness independently predict infant HRV, and (c) the effects of mind-mindedness on infant HRV (partially) operate via parenting behaviour...
June 19, 2018: Developmental Science
Jonathan T Delafield-Butt, Yvonne Freer, Jon Perkins, David Skulina, Ben Schögler, David N Lee
Prospective motor control moves the body into the future, from where one is to where one wants to be. It is a hallmark of intentionality. But its origin in development is uncertain. In this study, we tested whether or not the arm movements of newborn infants were prospectively controlled. We measured the spatiotemporal organization of 480 full-term neonatal arm movements and 384 arm movements of prematurely born infants at-risk for neurodevelopmental disorder. We found 75% of healthy term-birth neonatal movements and 68% of prematurely born infant movements conformed to the τG -coupling model of prospective sensorimotor control...
June 19, 2018: Developmental Science
Michael A Skeide, Tanya M Evans, Edward Z Mei, Daniel A Abrams, Vinod Menon
Impaired abilities in multiple domains is common in children with learning difficulties. Co-occurrence of low reading and mathematical abilities (LRLM) appears in almost every second child with learning difficulties. However, little is known regarding the neural bases of this combination. Leveraging a unique and tightly controlled sample including children with LRLM, isolated low reading ability (LR), and isolated low mathematical ability (LM), we uncover a distinct neural signature in children with co-occurring low reading and mathematical abilities differentiable from LR and LM...
June 19, 2018: Developmental Science
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