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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
Xin Zhao, Ling Chen, Joseph H R Maes
Response inhibition is crucial for mental and physical health but studies assessing the trainability of this type of inhibition are rare. Thirty-nine children aged 10-12 years and 46 adults aged 18-24 years were assigned to an adaptive go/no-go inhibition training condition or an active control condition. Transfer of training effects to performance on tasks assessing response inhibition, interference control, working memory updating, task-switching, and non-verbal fluid intelligence were assessed during 3- and 6-month follow-up sessions and/or an immediate post-training session...
December 13, 2016: Developmental Science
Bailey R House
Contingent reciprocity is an important foundation of human cooperation, but we know little about how reciprocal behavior develops across diverse societies, nor about how the development of reciprocal behavior is related to the development of prosocial behavior more broadly. Three- to 16-year-old children were presented with the opportunity to control the allocation of real food rewards in a binary-choice cooperative dilemma. Within dyads children alternated making choices across multiple trials, and reciprocal behavior emerged in three diverse populations (rural Fijian villages, and urban communities in both Fiji and the United States) by age 7-8...
December 13, 2016: Developmental Science
Valentina Tobia, Luca Rinaldi, Gian Marco Marzocchi
The occurrence of time processing problems in individuals with Development Dyscalculia (DD) has favored the view of a general magnitude system devoted to both numerical and temporal information. Yet, this scenario has been partially challenged by studies indicating that time difficulties can be attributed to poor calculation or counting skills, which can support reasoning on time in school-aged children and adults. Here, we tackle this debate by exploring the performance of young children before they fully develop the symbolic number system...
December 5, 2016: Developmental Science
Megumi Kobayashi, Viola Macchi Cassia, So Kanazawa, Masami K Yamaguchi, Ryusuke Kakigi
Recent data showed that, in Caucasian infants, perceptual narrowing occurs for own-race adult faces between 3 and 9 months of age, possibly as a consequence of the extensive amount of social and perceptual experience accumulated with caregivers and/or other adult individuals of the same race of the caregiver. The neural correlates of this developmental process remain unexplored, and it is currently unknown whether perceptual tuning towards adult faces can be extended to other cultures. To this end, in the current study we tested the ability of 3- and 9-month-old Japanese infants to discriminate among adult and infant Asian faces in a visual familiarization task (Experiment 1), and compared 9-month-olds' cerebral hemodynamic responses to adult and infant faces as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) (Experiment 2)...
December 5, 2016: Developmental Science
Ania Aïte, Mathieu Cassotti, Adriano Linzarini, Anaïs Osmont, Olivier Houdé, Grégoire Borst
Inhibitory control (i.e., the ability to resist automatisms, temptations, distractions, or interference and to adapt to conflicting situations) is a determinant of cognitive and socio-emotional development. In light of the discrepancies of previous findings on the development of inhibitory control in affectively charged contexts, two important issues need to be addressed. We need to determine (a) whether cool inhibitory control (in affectively neutral contexts) and hot inhibitory control (in affectively charged contexts) follow the same developmental pattern and (b) the degree of specificity of these two types of inhibitory control at different ages...
November 23, 2016: Developmental Science
Catherine G O'Hanlon, Jenny C A Read
Sixty-eight 2- to 12-year-olds and 30 adults were shown colorful displays on a touchscreen monitor and trained to point to the location of a named color. Participants located targets near-perfectly when presented with four abutting colored patches. When presented with three colored patches on a colored background, toddlers failed to locate targets in the background. Eye tracking demonstrated that the effect was partially mediated by a tendency not to fixate the background. However, the effect was abolished when the targets were named as nouns, whilst the change to nouns had little impact on eye movement patterns...
November 22, 2016: Developmental Science
Hirokazu Doi, Kazuyuki Shinohara
Increased interest in the self has long been deemed to be one of the most peculiar characteristics of adolescence. On the basis of this, we conjectured that attentiveness towards self-relevant information, especially one's own face, becomes more pronounced during the middle adolescence. The present study tested this hypothesis by comparing the pattern of visuospatial attention allocation to their own face among early, middle and late adolescent males using an eye-tracking methodology. The results have shown a clear pattern of increased attention allocation towards their own face over a close friend's and a stranger's face in middle adolescents, but fixation durations on their own and a friend's face did not differ from each other in early and late adolescents...
November 22, 2016: Developmental Science
Maayan Stavans, Renée Baillargeon
Two experiments examined whether 4-month-olds (n = 120) who were induced to assign two objects to different categories would then be able to take advantage of these contrastive categorical encodings to individuate and track the objects. In each experiment, infants first watched functional demonstrations of two tools, a masher and tongs (Experiment 1) or a marker and a knife (Experiment 2). Next, half the infants saw the two tools brought out alternately from behind a screen, which was then lowered to reveal only one of the tools (different-objects condition); the other infants saw similar events except that the same tool was shown on either side of the screen (same-object condition)...
November 20, 2016: Developmental Science
Annachiara Cavazzana, Christiane Wesarg, Julia Parish-Morris, Johan N Lundström, Valentina Parma
Recognition of emotional facial expressions is a crucial skill for adaptive behavior that most often occurs in a multi-sensory context. Affective matching tasks have been used across development to investigate how people integrate facial information with other senses. Given the relative affective strength of olfaction and its relevance in mediating social information since birth, we assessed olfactory-visual matching abilities in a group of 140 children between the ages of 3 and 11 years old. We presented one of three odor primes (rose, fish and no-odor, rated as pleasant or unpleasant by individual children) before a facial choice task (happy vs...
November 17, 2016: Developmental Science
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