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Developmental Science

Nicolas Chevalier, Bruno Dauvier, Agnès Blaye
Emerging cognitive control supports increasingly adaptive behaviors and predicts life success, while low cognitive control is a major risk factor during childhood. It is therefore essential to understand how it develops. The present study provides evidence for an age-related shift in the type of information that children prioritize in their environment, from objects that can be directly acted upon to cues signaling how to act. Specifically, gaze patterns recorded while 3- to 12-year-olds and adults engaged in a cognitive control task showed that whereas younger children fixated on targets that they needed to respond to before gazing at task cues signaling how to respond, older children and adults showed the opposite pattern (which yielded better performance)...
February 16, 2017: Developmental Science
Karin H James, Alyssa J Kersey
Visually guided action is a ubiquitous component of human behavior, but the neural substrates that support the development of this behavior are unknown. Here we take an initial step in documenting visual-motor system development in the young (4- to 7-year-old) child. Through functional MRI and by using a new technique to measure the mechanisms underlying real-time visually guided action in the MRI environment, we demonstrate that children rely primarily on the IPS and cerebellum for this complex behavior. This pattern is consistent across three different visually guided actions, suggesting generalizability of these neural substrates across such tasks...
February 15, 2017: Developmental Science
Amy E Margolis, Katie S Davis, Lisa S Pao, Amy Lewis, Xiao Yang, Gregory Tau, Guihu Zhao, Zhishun Wang, Rachel Marsh
Verbal-spatial discrepancies are common in healthy individuals and in those with neurodevelopmental disorders associated with cognitive control deficits including: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disability, Fragile X, 22q11 deletion, and Turner Syndrome. Previous data from healthy individuals suggest that the magnitude of the difference between verbal IQ (VIQ) and performance IQ (PIQ) scores (the VIQ>PIQ discrepancy) is associated with reduced thickness in frontal and parietal cortices (inferior frontal, anterior cingulate, inferior parietal lobule, and supramarginal gyrus) that support cognitive control...
February 15, 2017: Developmental Science
Dylan M Antovich, Katharine Graf Estes
Bilingual acquisition presents learning challenges beyond those found in monolingual environments, including the need to segment speech in two languages. Infants may use statistical cues, such as syllable-level transitional probabilities, to segment words from fluent speech. In the present study we assessed monolingual and bilingual 14-month-olds' abilities to segment two artificial languages using transitional probability cues. In Experiment 1, monolingual infants successfully segmented the speech streams when the languages were presented individually...
February 3, 2017: Developmental Science
Naiqi G Xiao, Paul C Quinn, Shaoying Liu, Liezhong Ge, Olivier Pascalis, Kang Lee
We used a novel intermodal association task to examine whether infants associate own- and other-race faces with music of different emotional valences. Three- to 9-month-olds saw a series of neutral own- or other-race faces paired with happy or sad musical excerpts. Three- to 6-month-olds did not show any specific association between face race and music. At 9 months, however, infants looked longer at own-race faces paired with happy music than at own-race faces paired with sad music. Nine-month-olds also looked longer at other-race faces paired with sad music than at other-race faces paired with happy music...
February 3, 2017: Developmental Science
Laurence Steinberg, Grace Icenogle, Elizabeth P Shulman, Kaitlyn Breiner, Jason Chein, Dario Bacchini, Lei Chang, Nandita Chaudhary, Laura Di Giunta, Kenneth A Dodge, Kostas A Fanti, Jennifer E Lansford, Patrick S Malone, Paul Oburu, Concetta Pastorelli, Ann T Skinner, Emma Sorbring, Sombat Tapanya, Liliana Maria Uribe Tirado, Liane Peña Alampay, Suha M Al-Hassan, Hanan M S Takash
The dual systems model of adolescent risk-taking portrays the period as one characterized by a combination of heightened sensation seeking and still-maturing self-regulation, but most tests of this model have been conducted in the United States or Western Europe. In the present study, these propositions are tested in an international sample of more than 5000 individuals between ages 10 and 30 years from 11 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, using a multi-method test battery that includes both self-report and performance-based measures of both constructs...
February 1, 2017: Developmental Science
Elizabeth A Shirtcliff, Martie L Skinner, Ezemenari M Obasi, Kevin P Haggerty
Research which indicates that adverse experiences influence hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning illustrates the social environment 'getting under the skin'. The present study extended this literature by examining whether positive social forces within the caregiving environment can also impact cortisol functioning. We conducted a prospective investigation of over 300 youth, half of whom were White and half were Black. Attachment, bonding and parental rewards for positive behaviors were observed or reported by the youth as an 8th grader...
January 30, 2017: Developmental Science
Catherine S Tamis-LeMonda, Yana Kuchirko, Rufan Luo, Kelly Escobar, Marc H Bornstein
Methods can powerfully affect conclusions about infant experiences and learning. Data from naturalistic observations may paint a very different picture of learning and development from those based on structured tasks, as illustrated in studies of infant walking, object permanence, intention understanding, and so forth. Using language as a model system, we compared the speech of 40 mothers to their 13-month-old infants during structured play and naturalistic home routines. The contrasting methods yielded unique portrayals of infant language experiences, while simultaneously underscoring cross-situational correspondence at an individual level...
January 16, 2017: Developmental Science
Sarah C Creel, Mengxing Weng, Genyue Fu, Gail D Heyman, Kang Lee
Young children learn multiple cognitive skills concurrently (e.g., language and music). Evidence is limited as to whether and how learning in one domain affects that in another during early development. Here we assessed whether exposure to a tone language benefits musical pitch processing among 3-5-year-old children. More specifically, we compared the pitch perception of Chinese children who spoke a tone language (i.e., Mandarin) with English-speaking American children. We found that Mandarin-speaking children were more advanced at pitch processing than English-speaking children but both groups performed similarly on a control music task (timbre discrimination)...
January 16, 2017: Developmental Science
Emily M Slonecker, Elizabeth A Simpson, Stephen J Suomi, Annika Paukner
Both human and nonhuman primate adults use infant-directed facial and vocal expressions across many contexts when interacting with infants (e.g., feeding, playing). This infant-oriented style of communication, known as infant-directed speech (IDS), seems to benefit human infants in numerous ways, including facilitating language acquisition. Given the variety of contexts in which adults use IDS, we hypothesized that IDS supports learning beyond the linguistic domain and that these benefits may extend to nonhuman primates...
December 29, 2016: Developmental Science
Nikolaus Steinbeis
Instances of altruism in children are well documented. However, the underlying mechanisms of such altruistic behavior are still under considerable debate. While some claim that altruistic acts occur automatically and spontaneously, others argue that they require behavioral control. This study focuses on the mechanisms that give rise to prosocial decisions such as sharing and costly punishment. In two studies it is shown in 124 children aged 6-9 years that behavioral control plays a critical role for both prosocial decisions and costly punishment...
December 29, 2016: Developmental Science
Natalie Russo, Wendy R Kates, Nicole Shea, Megan LeBlanc, Bradley Wyble
The attentional blink (AB) is thought to help the visual system parse and categorize rapidly changing information by segmenting it into temporal chunks, and is elicited using Rapid Serial Visual Presentation. It is reflected in a decrease in accuracy at detecting the second of two targets presented within 200-500 ms of the first, and its development appears to be protracted on tasks that require set-shifting. Here, younger (M = 8.5 years) and older (M = 12.8 years) children and adults (M = 19.13 years) completed a simple AB task with no set-shift requirement in which participants detected two letters in a stream of numbers presented at a rate of 135 ms/item...
December 29, 2016: Developmental Science
Danielle R Perszyk, Brock Ferguson, Sandra R Waxman
The power of human language rests upon its intricate links to human cognition. By 3 months of age, listening to language supports infants' ability to form object categories, a building block of cognition. Moreover, infants display a systematic shift between 3 and 4 months - a shift from familiarity to novelty preferences - in their expression of this link between language and core cognitive processes. Here, we capitalize on this tightly-timed developmental shift in fullterm infants to assess (a) whether it also appears in preterm infants and (b) whether it reflects infants' maturational status or the duration of their postnatal experience...
December 29, 2016: Developmental Science
Thijs van Laarhoven, Mirjam Keetels, Lemmy Schakel, Jean Vroomen
Individuals with developmental dyslexia (DD) may experience, besides reading problems, other speech-related processing deficits. Here, we examined the influence of visual articulatory information (lip-read speech) at various levels of background noise on auditory word recognition in children and adults with DD. We found that children with a documented history of DD have deficits in their ability to gain benefit from lip-read information that disambiguates noise-masked speech. We show with another group of adult individuals with DD that these deficits persist into adulthood...
December 18, 2016: Developmental Science
Bahar Tunçgenç, Emma Cohen
The emergence of pro-social behaviors and social interaction skills is a major focus of research on children's development. Here, we consider one important feature of human social interactions, interpersonal movement synchrony, and explore its effects on pro-sociality among young children. Coordinated movements are a crucial part of mother-infant interactions, with important social effects extending well into childhood. Musical interactions are also known to facilitate bonding between infants and caretakers and pro-sociality among peers...
December 18, 2016: Developmental Science
Xinyin Chen, Dan Li, Junsheng Liu, Huichang Chen, Siman Zhao
This study examined children's judgments of damage to public versus private property in China at two historical times. Participants were two cohorts (1980 and 2012) of elementary school children at ages 7, 9, and 11 years. The children were administered paired stories that described a protagonist who damaged public or private property with a good or bad intention. The results showed that children in the 2012 cohort were less likely than their counterparts in the 1980 cohort to judge damage to public property as more culpable than damage to private property...
December 15, 2016: Developmental Science
Ángela Conejero, Sonia Guerra, Alicia Abundis-Gutiérrez, M Rosario Rueda
Error detection is one of the functions of the executive attention network, a brain system involved in executive control that includes the anterior cingulate cortex and other prefrontal regions. Despite the key role of this function in a wide range of life outcomes, very limited research has examined the early development of the network and whether its functional efficacy is related to environmental factors. Electrophysiological studies with adults have shown oscillatory activity in theta (4-7 Hz) range arising from medial frontal cortex that follows the detection of self-committed or observed errors...
December 15, 2016: Developmental Science
Kahl Hellmer, Hedvig Söderlund, Gustaf Gredebäck
Studying memory in infants can be challenging, as they cannot express their subjective recollection verbally. In this study we use a novel method with which we can assess episodic recognition memory through pupillometry, using identical procedures and stimuli for infants and adults. In three experiments of 4- and 7-month-old infants, and adults we show that the adult pupillary response is larger to previously seen than to never seen items (old/new effect). Pupil dilations index subjective memory experience in adults, producing distinct pupil dilations to items judged as remembered, familiar, and new, regardless of actual previous exposure (Experiment 1)...
December 15, 2016: Developmental Science
Kristy vanMarle, Felicia W Chu, Yi Mou, Jin H Seok, Jeffrey Rouder, David C Geary
Children's understanding of the quantities represented by number words (i.e., cardinality) is a surprisingly protracted but foundational step in their learning of formal mathematics. The development of cardinal knowledge is related to one or two core, inherent systems - the approximate number system (ANS) and the object tracking system (OTS) - but whether these systems act alone, in concert, or antagonistically is debated. Longitudinal assessments of 198 preschool children on OTS, ANS, and cardinality tasks enabled testing of two single-mechanism (ANS-only and OTS-only) and two dual-mechanism models, controlling for intelligence, executive functions, preliteracy skills, and demographic factors...
December 15, 2016: Developmental Science
Tommie Forslund, Ben Kenward, Pehr Granqvist, Gustaf Gredebäck, Karin C Brocki
The development of children's ability to identify facial emotional expressions has long been suggested to be experience dependent, with parental caregiving as an important influencing factor. This study attempts to further this knowledge by examining disorganization of the attachment system as a potential psychological mechanism behind aberrant caregiving experiences and deviations in the ability to identify facial emotional expressions. Typically developing children (N = 105, 49.5% boys) aged 6-7 years (M = 6 years 8 months, SD = 1...
December 13, 2016: Developmental Science
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