Attention demands influence 10- and 12-month-old infants' perseverative behavior.
2012 (English)In: Developmental Psychology, ISSN 0012-1649, E-ISSN 1939-0599, Vol. 48, no 1, 46-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The present study examined the role of attentional demand on infants' perseverative behavior in a noncommunicative looking version of an A-not-B task. The research aimed at clarifying age-related improvements in the attention process that presumably underlies the development of cognitive control. In a between-subjects design, forty 10-month-olds and forty 12-month-olds were assigned to either a distractor or a no-distractor condition as a means of testing the role of attentional load. The authors used an eye tracker to record infants' looking behavior while they anticipated the reappearance of the target of interest as well as continuously throughout the task. The data demonstrated that 10-month-olds show more perseverative looking than do 12-month-olds and that increased attentional demand leads to more perseverative looking. Correct anticipation, however, was not affected by age or distraction. The results also failed to show that 12-month-olds are better than 10-month-olds at handling the increased attentional demand introduced in the distractor condition, in that the effect of the distractor was not larger for the younger infants. Our results are in line with the theoretical view of cognitive control as dependent on a limited attentional resource, which can explain perseverative behaviors in different tasks and at different ages.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 48, no 1, 46-55 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-164108DOI: 10.1037/a0025412ISI: 000298965200005PubMedID: 21910526OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-164108DiVA: diva2:466463