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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
Karla Holmboe, Arielle Bonneville-Roussy, Gergely Csibra, Mark H Johnson
Executive functions (EFs) are key abilities that allow us to control our thoughts and actions. Research suggests that two EFs, inhibitory control (IC) and working memory (WM), emerge around 9 months. Little is known about IC earlier in infancy and whether basic attentional processes form the "building blocks" of emerging IC. These questions were investigated longitudinally in 104 infants tested behaviorally on two screen-based attention tasks at 4 months, and on IC tasks at 6 and 9 months. Results provided no evidence that basic attention formed precursors for IC...
June 17, 2018: Developmental Science
Darby Saxbe, Hannah Khoddam, Larissa Del Piero, Sarah A Stoycos, Sarah I Gimbel, Gayla Margolin, Jonas T Kaplan
Community violence exposure is a common stressor, known to compromise youth cognitive and emotional development. In a diverse, urban sample of 22 adolescents, participants reported on community violence exposure (witnessing a beating or illegal drug use, hearing gun shots, or other forms of community violence) in early adolescence (average age 12.99), and underwent a neuroimaging scan 3-5 years later (average age 16.92). Community violence exposure in early adolescence predicted smaller manually traced left and right hippocampal and amygdala volumes in a model controlling for age, gender, and concurrent community violence exposure, measured in late adolescence...
June 11, 2018: Developmental Science
Natalie H Brito, Kimberly G Noble
Family socioeconomic status (SES) is strongly associated with children's cognitive development, and past studies have reported socioeconomic disparities in both neurocognitive skills and brain structure across childhood. In other studies, bilingualism has been associated with cognitive advantages and differences in brain structure across the lifespan. The aim of the current study is to concurrently examine the joint and independent associations between family SES and dual-language use with brain structure and cognitive skills during childhood...
June 7, 2018: Developmental Science
Sammy Perone, Jeeva Palanisamy, Stephanie M Carlson
The connection between brain rhythms at rest and cognition remains poorly understood. This is especially true during early childhood in which neuroimaging data are relatively scarce. We developed a new method for collecting eyes closed and eyes open resting state electroencephalography (EEG) suitable for young children. We report results characterizing age-related change in power in multiple brain rhythms over frontal and posterior regions under eyes closed and open conditions of rest in 3-, 4-, 5- and 9-year-old children (N = 162)...
June 4, 2018: Developmental Science
Tristan Mahr, Jan Edwards
Children learn words by listening to caregivers, and the quantity and quality of early language input predict later language development. Recent research suggests that word recognition efficiency may influence the relationship between input and vocabulary growth. We asked whether language input and lexical processing at 28-39 months predicted vocabulary size one year later in 109 preschoolers. Input was measured using adult word counts from LENA recordings. We used the visual world paradigm and measured lexical processing as the rate of change in proportion of looks to target...
May 20, 2018: Developmental Science
Meirong Sun, Encong Wang, Jing Huang, Chenguang Zhao, Jialiang Guo, Dongwei Li, Li Sun, Boqi Du, Yulong Ding, Yan Song
The fundamental role of covert spatial attention is to enhance the processing of attended items while simultaneously ignoring irrelevant items. However, relatively little is known about how brain electrophysiological activities associated with target selection and distractor suppression are involved as they develop and become fully functional. The current study aimed to identify the neurophysiological bases of the development of covert spatial attention, focusing on electroencephalographic (EEG) markers of attentional selection (N2pc) and suppression (PD )...
May 15, 2018: Developmental Science
Yuanyuan Wang, Carissa L Shafto, Derek M Houston
Early auditory/language experience plays an important role in language development. In this study, we examined the effects of severe-to-profound hearing loss and subsequent cochlear implantation on the development of attention to speech in children with cochlear implants (CIs). In addition, we investigated the extent to which attention to speech may predict spoken language development in children with CIs. We tested children with CIs and compared them to chronologically age-matched peers with normal hearing (NH) on their attention to speech at four time points post implantation; specifically, less than 1 month, 3 to 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months post implantation...
May 15, 2018: Developmental Science
Jennifer R Steele, Meghan George, Amanda Williams, Elaine Tay
Initial theory and research examining children's implicit racial attitudes suggest that an implicit preference favoring socially advantaged groups emerges early in childhood and remains stable across development (Dunham, Baron, & Banaji, 2008). In two studies, we examined the ubiquity of this theory by measuring non-Black minority and non-White majority children's implicit racial attitudes toward White and Black racial outgroups in two distinct cultural contexts. In Study 1, non-Black minority children in an urban North American community with a large Black population showed an implicit pro-White (versus Black) bias in early childhood...
May 14, 2018: Developmental Science
Katharine A Tillman, Nestor Tulagan, Eren Fukuda, David Barner
When reasoning about time, English-speaking adults often invoke a "mental timeline" stretching from left to right. Although the direction of the timeline varies across cultures, the tendency to represent time as a line has been argued to be ubiquitous and primitive. On this hypothesis, we might predict that children also spontaneously invoke a spatial timeline when reasoning about time. However, little is known about how and when the mental timeline develops, or to what extent it is variable and malleable in childhood...
May 11, 2018: Developmental Science
Brianna R Doherty, Tony Charman, Mark H Johnson, Gaia Scerif, Teodora Gliga
Superior visual search is one of the most common findings in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) literature. Here, we ascertain how generalizable these findings are across task and participant characteristics, in light of recent replication failures. We tested 106 3-year-old children at familial risk for ASD, a sample that presents high ASD and ADHD symptoms, and 25 control participants, in three multi-target search conditions: easy exemplar search (look for cats amongst artefacts), difficult exemplar search (look for dogs amongst chairs/tables perceptually similar to dogs), and categorical search (look for animals amongst artefacts)...
May 3, 2018: Developmental Science
Domenico Tullo, Jacalyn Guy, Jocelyn Faubert, Armando Bertone
The efficacy of attention training paradigms is influenced by many factors, including the specificity of targeted cognitive processes, accuracy of outcome measures, accessibility to specialized populations, and adaptability to user capability. These issues are increasingly significant when working with children diagnosed with neurodevelopmental conditions that are characterized by attentional difficulties. This study investigated the efficacy of training attention in students with neurodevelopmental conditions using a novel three-dimensional Multiple Object-Tracking (3D-MOT) task...
April 30, 2018: Developmental Science
Marina Kalashnikova, Paola Escudero, Evan Kidd
The mutual exclusivity (ME) assumption is proposed to facilitate early word learning by guiding infants to map novel words to novel referents. This study assessed the emergence and use of ME to both disambiguate and retain the meanings of novel words across development in 18-month-old monolingual and bilingual children (Experiment 1; N = 58), and in a sub-group of these children again at 24 months of age (Experiment 2: N = 32). Both monolinguals and bilinguals employed ME to select the referent of a novel label to a similar extent at 18 and 24 months...
April 30, 2018: Developmental Science
Matti Wilks, James Kirby, Mark Nielsen
Children demonstrate a pervasive in-group bias, preferring their in-group across a range of contexts that encompass measures of liking, imitation, and, in some cases, resource allocation. A growing number of studies have begun to explore whether antisocial in-group behavior reduces the robustness of this bias. However, these studies have focused on transgression evaluations, with only two studies focusing on social learning and none explicitly on imitation. This, therefore, limits the extent to which children's responses to interaction between in-group bias and antisocial behavior can be fully understood...
April 25, 2018: Developmental Science
Kimberly L Meidenbauer, Jason M Cowell, Jean Decety
Survival is dependent on sociality within groups which ensure sustenance and protection. From an early age, children show a natural tendency to sort people into groups and discriminate among them. The computations guiding evaluation of third-party behaviors are complex, requiring integration of intent, consequences, and knowledge of group affiliation. This study examined how perceiving third-party morally laden behavior influences children's likelihood to exhibit or reduce group bias. Following a minimal group paradigm assignment, young children (4-7 years) performed a moral evaluation task where group affiliations and moral actions were systematically juxtaposed, so that they were exposed to disproportionately antisocial in-group and prosocial out-group scenarios...
April 25, 2018: Developmental Science
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