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Developmental Science

Delphine Sasanguie, Helene Vos
Digit comparison is strongly related to individual differences in children's arithmetic ability. Why this is the case, however, remains unclear to date. Therefore, we investigated the relative contribution of three possible cognitive mechanisms in first and second graders' digit comparison performance: digit identification, digit-number word matching and digit ordering ability. Furthermore, we examined whether these components could account for the well-established relation between digit comparison performance and arithmetic...
February 7, 2018: Developmental Science
Mengmeng Su, Michel Thiebaut de Schotten, Jingjing Zhao, Shuang Song, Wei Zhou, Gaolang Gong, Catherine McBride, Franck Ramus, Hua Shu
The acquisition of language involves the functional specialization of several cortical regions. Connectivity between these brain regions may also change with the development of language. Various studies have demonstrated that the arcuate fasciculus was essential for language function. Vocabulary learning is one of the most important skills in language acquisition. In the present longitudinal study, we explored the influence of vocabulary development on the anatomical properties of the arcuate fasciculus. Seventy-nine Chinese children participated in this study...
February 6, 2018: Developmental Science
Patrick A O'Connor, Kinga Morsanyi, Teresa McCormack
Ordinality is a fundamental feature of numbers and recent studies have highlighted the role that number ordering abilities play in mathematical development (e.g., Lyons et al., ), as well as mature mathematical performance (e.g., Lyons & Beilock, ). The current study tested the novel hypothesis that non-numerical ordering ability, as measured by the ordering of familiar sequences of events, also plays an important role in maths development. Ninety children were tested in their first school year and 87 were followed up at the end of their second school year, to test the hypothesis that ordinal processing, including the ordering of non-numerical materials, would be related to their maths skills both cross-sectionally and longitudinally...
January 25, 2018: Developmental Science
Kevanne Louise Sanger, Guillaume Thierry, Dusana Dorjee
In a non-randomized controlled study, we investigated the efficacy of a school-based mindfulness curriculum delivered by schoolteachers to older secondary school students (16-18 years). We measured changes in emotion processing indexed by P3b event-related potential (ERP) modulations in an affective oddball task using static human faces. ERPs were recorded to happy and sad face oddballs presented in a stimulus stream of frequent faces with neutral expression, before and after 8 weeks of mindfulness training...
January 22, 2018: Developmental Science
Hazel I Blythe, Jonathan H Dickins, Colin R Kennedy, Simon P Liversedge
There has been considerable variability within the literature concerning the extent to which deaf/hard of hearing individuals are able to process phonological codes during reading. Two experiments are reported in which participants' eye movements were recorded as they read sentences containing correctly spelled words (e.g., church), pseudohomophones (e.g., cherch), and spelling controls (e.g., charch). We examined both foveal processing and parafoveal pre-processing of phonology for three participant groups-teenagers with permanent childhood hearing loss (PCHL), chronological age-matched controls, and reading age-matched controls...
January 22, 2018: Developmental Science
Andrew N Meltzoff, Rey R Ramírez, Joni N Saby, Eric Larson, Samu Taulu, Peter J Marshall
There is growing interest concerning the ways in which the human body, both one's own and that of others, is represented in the developing human brain. In two experiments with 7-month-old infants, we employed advances in infant magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain imaging to address novel questions concerning body representations in early development. Experiment 1 evaluated the spatiotemporal organization of infants' brain responses to being touched. A punctate touch to infants' hands and feet produced significant activation in the hand and foot areas of contralateral primary somatosensory cortex as well as in other parietal and frontal areas...
January 14, 2018: Developmental Science
Yusuke Moriguchi, Ikuko Shinohara
Low executive function (EF) during early childhood is a major risk factor for developmental delay, academic failure, and social withdrawal. Susceptible genes may affect the molecular and biological mechanisms underpinning EF. More specifically, genes associated with the regulation of prefrontal dopamine may modulate the response of prefrontal neurons during executive control. Several studies with adults and older children have shown that variants of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene are associated with behavioral performance and prefrontal activations in EF tasks...
January 4, 2018: Developmental Science
Freek Stulp, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer
To harness the complexity of their high-dimensional bodies during sensorimotor development, infants are guided by patterns of freezing and freeing of degrees of freedom. For instance, when learning to reach, infants free the degrees of freedom in their arm proximodistally, that is, from joints that are closer to the body to those that are more distant. Here, we formulate and study computationally the hypothesis that such patterns can emerge spontaneously as the result of a family of stochastic optimization processes, without an innate encoding of a maturational schedule...
December 29, 2017: Developmental Science
Paola Escudero, Karen E Mulak, Jaydene Elvin, Nicole M Traynor
Fifteen-month-olds have difficulty detecting differences between novel words differing in a single vowel. Previous work showed that Australian English (AusE) infants habituated to the word-object pair DEET detected an auditory switch to DIT and DOOT in Canadian English (CanE) but not in their native AusE (Escudero et al., ). The authors speculated that this may be because the vowel inherent spectral change variation (VISC) in AusE DEET is larger than in CanE DEET. We investigated whether VISC leads to difficulty in encoding phonetic detail during early word learning, and whether this difficulty dissipates with age...
December 29, 2017: Developmental Science
Francesca Foti, Deny Menghini, Paolo Alfieri, Floriana Costanzo, Laura Mandolesi, Laura Petrosini, Stefano Vicari
New skills may be learned by active experience (experiential learning or learning by doing) or by observation of others' experience (learning by observation). In general, learning by observation reduces the time and the attempts needed to learn complex actions and behaviors. The present research aimed to compare learning by observation and learning by doing in two clinical populations with different etiology of intellectual disability (ID), as individuals with Down syndrome (DS) and individuals with Williams syndrome (WS), with the hypothesis that specific profiles of learning may be found in each syndrome...
December 26, 2017: Developmental Science
Terry Tin-Yau Wong
The current study aimed to investigate the relation between conditional reasoning, which is a common type of logical reasoning, and children's mathematical problem solving. A sample of 124 fourth graders was tested for their conditional reasoning skills and their mathematical problem solving skills, as well as a list of control variables (e.g., IQ, working memory, reading) and potential mediators (number sentence construction and computation). The children's ability to make modus ponens (MP) inferences significantly predicted their mathematical problem solving skills, even after controlling for the potential confounding variables...
December 20, 2017: Developmental Science
Eleonore H M Smalle, Mike P A Page, Wouter Duyck, Martin Edwards, Arnaud Szmalec
Whereas adults often rely on explicit memory, children appear to excel in implicit memory, which plays an important role in the acquisition of various cognitive skills, such as those involved in language. The current study aimed to test the assertion of an age-dependent shift in implicit versus explicit learning within a theoretical framework that explains the link between implicit sequence memory and word-form acquisition, using the Hebb repetition paradigm. We conducted a one-year, multiple-session longitudinal study in which we presented auditory sequences of syllables, co-presented with pictures of aliens, for immediate serial recall by a group of children (8-9 years) and by an adult group...
December 17, 2017: Developmental Science
Rachel R Albert, Jennifer A Schwade, Michael H Goldstein
What is the social function of babbling? An important function of prelinguistic vocalizing may be to elicit parental behavior in ways that facilitate the infant's own learning about speech and language. Infants use parental feedback to their babbling to learn new vocal forms, but the microstructure of parental responses to babbling has not been studied. To enable precise manipulation of the proximal infant cues that may influence maternal behavior, we used a playback paradigm to assess mothers' responsiveness to prerecorded audiovisual clips of unfamiliar infants' noncry prelinguistic vocalizations and actions...
December 17, 2017: Developmental Science
Cara L Evans, Kevin N Laland, Malinda Carpenter, Rachel L Kendal
Human children, in contrast to other species, are frequently cast as prolific "over-imitators". However, previous studies of "over-imitation" have overlooked many important real-world social dynamics, and may thus provide an inaccurate account of this seemingly puzzling and potentially maladaptive phenomenon. Here we investigate this topic using a cultural evolutionary approach, focusing particularly on the key adaptive learning strategy of majority-biased copying. Most "over-imitation" research has been conducted using consistent demonstrations to the observer, but we systematically varied the frequency of demonstrators that 4- to 6-year-old children observed performing a causally irrelevant action...
December 17, 2017: Developmental Science
Faye R H Smith, M Gareth Gaskell, Anna R Weighall, Meesha Warmington, Alexander M Reid, Lisa M Henderson
Sleep is known to play an active role in consolidating new vocabulary in adults; however, the mechanisms by which sleep promotes vocabulary consolidation in childhood are less well understood. Furthermore, there has been no investigation into whether previously reported differences in sleep architecture might account for variability in vocabulary consolidation in children with dyslexia. Twenty-three children with dyslexia and 29 age-matched typically developing peers were exposed to 16 novel spoken words. Typically developing children showed overnight improvements in novel word recall; the size of the improvement correlated positively with slow wave activity, similar to previous findings with adults...
December 11, 2017: Developmental Science
João F Guassi Moreira, Eva H Telzer
Maternal presence has marked effects on adolescent neurocognition during risk taking, influencing teenagers to make safer decisions. However, it is currently unknown whether maternal buffering changes over the course of adolescence itself, and whether its effects are robust to individual differences in family relationship quality. In the current longitudinal study, 23 adolescents completed a risk-taking task under maternal presence during an fMRI scan before and after the transition to high school. Behavioral results reveal that adolescent risk taking increased under maternal presence across a one-year period...
December 11, 2017: Developmental Science
Adam S Grabell, Theodore J Huppert, Frank A Fishburn, Yanwei Li, Hannah M Jones, Aimee E Wilett, Lisa M Bemis, Susan B Perlman
Individual differences in young children's frustration responses set the stage for myriad developmental outcomes and represent an area of intense empirical interest. Emotion regulation is hypothesized to comprise the interplay of complex behaviors, such as facial expressions, and activation of concurrent underlying neural systems. At present, however, the literature has mostly examined children's observed emotion regulation behaviors and assumed underlying brain activation through separate investigations, resulting in theoretical gaps in our understanding of how children regulate emotion in vivo...
December 11, 2017: Developmental Science
Santiago Morales, Nilam Ram, Kristin A Buss, Pamela M Cole, Jonathan L Helm, Sy-Miin Chow
Self-regulation is a dynamic process wherein executive processes (EP) delay, minimize or desist prepotent responses (PR) that arise in situations that threaten well-being. It is generally assumed that, over the course of early childhood, children expand and more effectively deploy their repertoire of EP-related strategies to regulate PR. However, longitudinal tests of these assumptions are scarce in part because self-regulation has been mostly studied as a static construct. This study engages dynamic systems modeling to examine developmental changes in self-regulation between ages 2 and 5 years...
November 29, 2017: Developmental Science
Jasmine M DeJesus, Kristin Shutts, Katherine D Kinzler
How does social information affect the perception of taste early in life? Does mere knowledge of other people's food preferences impact children's own experience when eating? In Experiment 1, 5- and 6-year-old children consumed more of a food described as popular with other children than a food that was described as unpopular with other children, even though the two foods were identical. In Experiment 2, children ate more of a food described as popular with children than a food described as popular with adults...
November 29, 2017: Developmental Science
Daniel Ansari, Judit Gervain
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2018: Developmental Science
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