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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
Katie Davis, Amy E Margolis, Lauren Thomas, Zhiyong Huo, Rachel Marsh
Pediatric reading disorder (RD) is associated with an increased risk of anxiety symptoms, yet understudied are the neurobiological factors that might underlie anxiety in children with RD. Given the role of the amygdala in anxiety, we assessed resting state functional connectivity of amygdalar subregions in children with RD to identify functional correlates of anxiety and reading impairment. We collected resting state functional MRI data from 22 children with RD and 21 typically developing (TD) children, ages 7 to 13 years...
November 15, 2017: Developmental Science
Tania S Zamuner, Stephanie Strahm, Elizabeth Morin-Lessard, Michael P A Page
This research investigates the effect of production on 4.5- to 6-year-old children's recognition of newly learned words. In Experiment 1, children were taught four novel words in a produced or heard training condition during a brief training phase. In Experiment 2, children were taught eight novel words, and this time training condition was in a blocked design. Immediately after training, children were tested on their recognition of the trained novel words using a preferential looking paradigm. In both experiments, children recognized novel words that were produced and heard during training, but demonstrated better recognition for items that were heard...
November 15, 2017: Developmental Science
Mihaela Constantinescu, David S Moore, Scott P Johnson, Melissa Hines
Some cognitive abilities exhibit reliable gender differences, with females outperforming males in specific aspects of verbal ability, and males showing an advantage on certain spatial tasks. Among these cognitive gender differences, differences in mental rotation are the most robust, and appear to be present even in infants. A large body of animal research suggests that gonadal hormones, particularly testosterone, during early development could contribute to this gender difference in mental rotation. Also, substantial evidence supports an influence of socialization on mental rotation performance...
November 15, 2017: Developmental Science
Nelson Cowan, Yu Li, Bret A Glass, J Scott Saults
Presentation of two kinds of materials in working memory (visual and acoustic), with the requirement to attend to one or both modalities, poses an interesting case for working memory development because competing predictions can be formulated. In two experiments, we assessed such predictions with children 7-13 years old and adults. With development, the ability to hold more information in the focus of attention could lead to an increase in the size of the trade-off between modalities; if attention can hold A items during unimodal-attention trials, then on average attention should hold A/2 of those same items during bimodal-attention trials...
November 8, 2017: Developmental Science
Caroline P Hoyniak, John E Bates, Isaac T Petersen, Chung-Lin Yang, Isabelle Darcy, Nathalie M G Fontaine
OBJECTIVE: Callous-unemotional (CU) traits are characterized by a lack of guilt and empathy, and low responsiveness to distress and fear in others. Children with CU traits are at-risk for engaging in early and persistent conduct problems. Individuals showing CU traits have been shown to have reduced neural responses to others' distress (e.g., fear). However, the neural components of distress responses in children with CU traits have not been investigated in early childhood. In the current study, we examined neural responses that underlie the processing of emotionally valenced vocal stimuli using the event-related potential technique in a group of preschoolers...
November 8, 2017: Developmental Science
Kimberly J Saudino, Manjie Wang, Megan Flom, Philip Asherson
Cross-lagged biometric models were used to examine genetic and environmental links between actigraph-assessed motor activity level (AL) and parent-rated attention problems (AP) in 314 same-sex twin pairs (MZ = 145, DZ = 169) at ages 2 and 3 years. At both ages, genetic correlations between AL and AP were moderate (ra2 = .35; ra3 = .39) indicating both overlap and specificity in genetic effects across the two domains. Within- and across-age phenotypic associations between AL and AP were entirely due to overlapping genetic influences...
November 8, 2017: Developmental Science
Saara Nolvi, Henna-Maria Uusitupa, David J Bridgett, Henri Pesonen, Anna-Katariina Aatsinki, Eeva-Leena Kataja, Riikka Korja, Hasse Karlsson, Linnea Karlsson
Little consideration has been given to the possibility of human infant development being shaped via lactocrine programming, and by breast milk cortisol levels specifically. Despite animal models indicating that glucocorticoid (GC) exposure via lactation might modify brain development and behavior, only one study has reported that milk cortisol levels were positively associated with infant negative affectivity, especially fearfulness and sadness-early emerging risk factors for internalizing difficulties such as anxiety...
October 27, 2017: Developmental Science
Kristen Tummeltshammer, Dima Amso
The visual context in which an object or face resides can provide useful top-down information for guiding attention orienting, object recognition, and visual search. Although infants have demonstrated sensitivity to covariation in spatial arrays, it is presently unclear whether they can use rapidly acquired contextual knowledge to guide attention during visual search. In this eye-tracking experiment, 6- and 10-month-old infants searched for a target face hidden among colorful distracter shapes. Targets appeared in Old or New visual contexts, depending on whether the visual search arrays (defined by the spatial configuration, shape and color of component items in the search display) were repeated or newly generated throughout the experiment...
October 26, 2017: Developmental Science
Ursula Fischer, Sebastian P Suggate, Judith Schmirl, Heidrun Stoeger
Finger counting is widely considered an important step in children's early mathematical development. Presumably, children's ability to move their fingers during early counting experiences to aid number representation depends in part on their early fine motor skills (FMS). Specifically, FMS should link to children's procedural counting skills through consistent repetition of finger-counting procedures. Accordingly, we hypothesized that (a) FMS are linked to early counting skills, and (b) greater FMS relate to conceptual counting knowledge (e...
October 26, 2017: Developmental Science
John M Franchak, Kari S Kretch, Karen E Adolph
Face-to-face interaction between infants and their caregivers is a mainstay of developmental research. However, common laboratory paradigms for studying dyadic interaction oversimplify the act of looking at the partner's face by seating infants and caregivers face to face in stationary positions. In less constrained conditions when both partners are freely mobile, infants and caregivers must move their heads and bodies to look at each other. We hypothesized that face looking and mutual gaze for each member of the dyad would decrease with increased motor costs of looking...
October 26, 2017: Developmental Science
Katherine E Twomey, Gert Westermann
Infants are curious learners who drive their own cognitive development by imposing structure on their learning environment as they explore. Understanding the mechanisms by which infants structure their own learning is therefore critical to our understanding of development. Here we propose an explicit mechanism for intrinsically motivated information selection that maximizes learning. We first present a neurocomputational model of infant visual category learning, capturing existing empirical data on the role of environmental complexity on learning...
October 26, 2017: Developmental Science
Do Kyeong Lee, Whitney G Cole, Laura Golenia, Karen E Adolph
Researchers can study complex developmental phenomena with all the inherent noise and complexity or simplify behaviors to hone in on the essential aspects of a phenomenon. We used the development of walking as a model system to compare the costs and benefits of simplifying a complex, noisy behavior. Traditionally, researchers simplify infant walking by recording gait measures as infants take continuous, forward steps along straight paths. Here, we compared the traditional straight-path task with spontaneous walking during 20 minutes of free play in 97 infants (10...
October 22, 2017: Developmental Science
Marion I van den Heuvel, Jens Henrichs, Franc C L Donkers, Bea R H Van den Bergh
Maternal anxiety during pregnancy can negatively affect fetal neurodevelopment, predisposing the offspring to a higher risk of behavioral and emotional problems later in life. The current study investigates the association between maternal anxiety during pregnancy and child affective picture processing using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Mothers reported anxiety during the second trimester using the anxiety subscale of the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90). At age 4 years, child affective picture processing (N = 86) was measured by recording ERPs during viewing of neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant pictures selected from the International Affective Pictures System...
October 22, 2017: Developmental Science
Madeline B Harms, Katherine E Shannon Bowen, Jamie L Hanson, Seth D Pollak
Children who experience severe early life stress show persistent deficits in many aspects of cognitive and social adaptation. Early stress might be associated with these broad changes in functioning because it impairs general learning mechanisms. To explore this possibility, we examined whether individuals who experienced abusive caregiving in childhood had difficulties with instrumental learning and/or cognitive flexibility as adolescents. Fifty-three 14-17-year-old adolescents (31 exposed to high levels of childhood stress, 22 control) completed an fMRI task that required them to first learn associations in the environment and then update those pairings...
October 19, 2017: Developmental Science
Pauline Quémart, Laura M Gonnerman, Jennifer Downing, S Hélène Deacon
The way children organize words in their memory has intrigued many researchers in the past 20 years. Given the large number of morphologically complex words in many languages, the influence of morphemes on this organization is being increasingly examined. The aim of this study was to understand how morphemic information influences English-speaking children's word recognition. Children in grades 3 and 5 were asked to complete a lexical decision priming task. Prime-target pairs varied in semantic similarity, with low (e...
October 12, 2017: Developmental Science
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