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  • 1.
    Forssman, Linda
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Attention and the Early Development of Cognitive Control: Infants’ and Toddlers’ Performance on the A-not-B task2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the first years of life there is a dramatic development of cognitive abilities supporting cognitive control of behavior. This development allows the child to make future-oriented predictions and to increasingly act in a goal-directed manner. The early development of cognitive control is presumably closely tied to the maturation of the attention systems. Further, attentional control processes have been suggested to be the unifying construct underlying cognitive control in both children and adults. The general aim of the present thesis was to further our understanding of the early development of cognitive control. This aim was approached by examining the attention processes underlying cognitive control in infancy and toddlerhood, with a particular focus on age-related improvements in attentional control. This thesis consists of three studies that have used the A-not-B paradigm to investigated infants’ and toddlers’ ability to search for a hidden object or to correctly anticipate the reappearance of a hidden object. The A-not-B paradigm is one of few well-studied paradigms for research on the early development of cognitive control and this paradigm involves conflict resolution and requires a flexible shift of response set to achieve a goal.

    Study I of this thesis examined individual differences in 10-month-olds’ ability to search for a hidden object in a manual A-not-B task. We investigated the infants’ search behavior, both in terms looking and reaching responses, the relation between individual differences in performance on A and B trials, and also the relation between the two response modalities.

    Study II used eye tracking and focused on the role of attentional demand on 10- and 12-month-olds’ ability to anticipate the reappearance of a hidden object. This study intended to clarify age-related improvements, particularly in relation to the ability to resist visually distracting information that interfered with the task at hand.

    Study III also employed an eye tracker to measure 18-month-olds’ predictive eye movements in anticipation of a hidden object under conditions marked by different attention demands. This study not only investigated the toddlers’ ability to overcome a visual distractor, but also their ability to keep a representation in actively in mind over different delays. In addition, the 18-month-olds’ performance was compared to that of an adult group to shed further light on the development of attentional control in children.

    In conclusion, this thesis demonstrated that important age-related improvements in cognitive control take place by the end of the first year of life and between 12 and 18 months of age. More specifically, with increasing age, the children were able to resolve higher levels of conflict thereby demonstrating improvements in attentional control. In interpreting the present data, we argue that this development is gradual, developing from variable to stable and also that the attentional control process is best described as continuous rather dichotomous in infancy and toddlerhood. Based on our findings, future research should be motivated to examine changes in attentional control processes in relation to the early development of cognitive development.

    List of papers
    1. Individual differences in 10-month-olds' performance on the A-not-B task
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Individual differences in 10-month-olds' performance on the A-not-B task
    2014 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 55, no 2, p. 130-135Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This study used the classical A-not-B task (Piaget, ) to explore individual differences in cognitive flexibility in 10-month-old infants by: (1) examining how differences in search performance during A trials relate to search performance during B trials; (2) studying the relation between temperamental dimensions and A-not-B performance; and (3) investigating differences in search performance between looking and reaching responses within the same task. Forty infants were tested on a fixed-design-version of the A-not-B task, not allowing for training or individual adjustment, but instead eliciting additional search behaviors than the common correct responses in A trials and perseverative errors in B trials. Infants were also rated by their parents on the temperamental scales Activity level and Attention span. The main findings were: (1) performance on A trials affected B trial performance, with infants being more correct on A trials having more incorrect and less 'no search' responses on B trials; (2) activity level, but not attention span, was related to performance on the A-not-B task, with infants performing better on A trials having a lower activity level; and (3) there were a few differences in performance with regard to modality, indicating that responding correctly by looking may be less cognitively demanding than doing so by reaching. This study demonstrated that 10-month-olds show a wide variation of search behaviors on this A-not-B task, resulting in individual differences in performance. These differences are suggested to reflect variation in temperamental activity level as well as maturity of short term/working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility.

    Keywords
    infancy, individual differences, cognitive flexibility, A-not-B
    National Category
    Social Sciences
    Research subject
    Psychology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-223882 (URN)10.1111/sjop.12109 (DOI)000333054400006 ()
    Available from: 2014-05-05 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
    2. Attention demands influence 10- and 12-month-old infants' perseverative behavior.
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Attention demands influence 10- and 12-month-old infants' perseverative behavior.
    Show others...
    2012 (English)In: Developmental Psychology, ISSN 0012-1649, E-ISSN 1939-0599, Vol. 48, no 1, p. 46-55Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    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.

    National Category
    Social Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-164108 (URN)10.1037/a0025412 (DOI)000298965200005 ()21910526 (PubMedID)
    Available from: 2011-12-16 Created: 2011-12-16 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
    3. The Role of Attentional Control in the A-not-B task: Comparing Anticipatory Looking in 18-Month-Olds and Adults
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Role of Attentional Control in the A-not-B task: Comparing Anticipatory Looking in 18-Month-Olds and Adults
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    National Category
    Social Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-164297 (URN)
    Available from: 2011-12-19 Created: 2011-12-19 Last updated: 2012-02-15
  • 2.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    University of Tampere.
    Ashorn, Per
    Ashorn, Ulla
    Maleta, Kenneth
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Assessing the Feasibility of Using Eye Tracking to Study Infants’ Cognitive Functioning in Rural Malawi2015Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Children growing up in low-income countries are at an increased risk for exposure to adverse contextual factors that may affect their cognitive development early in life. Yet, the prevalence and specific nature of cognitive problems are still poorly understood given a lack of objective, non-invasive, and field-friendly techniques for assessing early cognitive functioning in low-resource settings. In an effort to help address this gap, we carried out a study to evaluate the feasibility of using eye tracking to assess infants’ cognitive functioning in a low-income setting.

    Methods

    A battery of eye tracking tests were used to assess basic cognitive functions, such as anticipatory looking, sequence learning, and perception of facial expressions, of 39 Finnish and 37 Malawian infants 9 months of age. To evaluate the feasibility of using the eye tracking method in Malawi, we measured and compared the acceptability of the eye tracking method (the participants’ mothers’ appreciation of the method) and quality of the eye tracking data collected from the Malawian site to that of data collected from the Finnish site. The following conditions needed to be met in order for the method to be defined as feasible: (1) a proportion of Malawian participants similar to that of Finnish participants had to be able to complete the whole assessment, (2) a proportion of participating Malawian mothers similar to that of Finnish mothers had to report acceptance of the method, and (3) the eye tracking data quality in terms of attrition rate and proportion of valid trials had to be similar at the two sites (Malawi and Finland) and in parity with previous infancy eye tracking studies (i.e., attrition rate around 20–35% or lower, based on Ambrosini et al. 2013, Oakes and Ellis 2013, and Watanabe et al. 2012, and proportion of valid trials in each eye tracking task at greater than 70%, based on Forssman, Wass, and Leppänen 2014 and Leppänen et al. 2014).

    Results

    The majority of Finnish (95%) and Malawian (92%) infants were able to complete the whole assessment. At both sites, 95% or more of the participating mothers reported acceptability of the method. Examination of eye tracking data quality between the Finnish and Malawian testing sites showed similar patterns, although the overall completion rate (Finland: 94.9%; Malawi: 91.9%) and the overall proportion of valid trials (Finland: 79.5%; Malawi: 71%) were slightly in favor of the Finnish sample. There were however no significant differences in task-specific data attrition rates between the two samples (p = .141–.946) and the attrition rates at both sites was equivalent to or better than the attrition rates reported in previous eye tracking studies with infants of similar age.

    Conclusions

    The consistency of data retention and test acceptance rate between the Finnish and Malawian samples demonstrates the feasibility of eye tracking-based assessments of infants’ cognition in low-resource settings. Based on the results from this pilot test, we believe that eye tracking is a promising tool for assessing early cognitive functions in Malawi and other low-income countries. However, further research is still needed to establish the validity of early-emerging cognitive markers as predictors of long-term health outcomes in childhood. 

  • 3.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    Dorota, Green
    von Hofsten, Claes
    The role of attentional demand in 10-, 12-, and 18-month-olds’ perseverative behavior in a looking version of an A-not-B task2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Lundervold, Astri
    University of Bergen.
    Taanila, Anja
    University of Oulu.
    Heiervang, Einar
    Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen.
    Loo, Sandra
    University of California Los Angeles.
    Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta
    Imperial College London.
    Smalley, Susan
    Univiersity of California Los Angeles.
    Moilanen, Irma
    University of Oulu.
    Rodriguez, Alina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Independent contributions of cognitive functioning and social risk factors to symptoms of ADHD in two Nordic population-based cohorts2009In: Developmental Neuropsychology, ISSN 8756-5641, E-ISSN 1532-6942, Vol. 34, no 6, p. 721-735Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examined independent contributions of executive functioning   (EF), state regulation (SR), and social risk factors to symptom   dimensions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in two   cohorts, which included 221 Norwegian children and 294 Finnish   adolescents. Independent contributions of EF and SR were shown in the   Norwegian cohort and EF contributed independently in the Finnish   cohort. When controlling for each symptom dimension, cognitive   functioning and social risk factors were differentially associated with   inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms. The results show   the need to include both social risk factors and cognitive functioning   to obtain a better understanding of ADHD symptoms.

  • 5.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Eighteen-month-olds' ability to make gaze predictions following distraction or a long delay2014In: Infant Behavior and Development, ISSN 0163-6383, E-ISSN 1879-0453, Vol. 37, no 2, p. 225-234Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The abilities to flexibly allocate attention, select between conflicting stimuli, and make anticipatory gaze movements are important for young children's exploration and learning about their environment. These abilities constitute voluntary control of attention and show marked improvements in the second year of a child's life. Here we investigate the effects of visual distraction and delay on 18-month-olds' ability to predict the location of an occluded target in an experiment that requires switching of attention, and compare their performance to that of adults. Our results demonstrate that by 18 months of age children can readily overcome a previously learned response, even under a condition that involves visual distraction, but have difficulties with correctly updating their prediction when presented with a longer time delay. Further, the experiment shows that, overall, the 18-month-olds' allocation of visual attention is similar to that of adults, the primary difference being that adults demonstrate a superior ability to maintain attention on task and update their predictions over a longer time period. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  • 6.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Eninger, Lilianne
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Tillman, Carin
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Rodriguez, Alina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Univ London Imperial Coll Sci Technol & Med, Dept Epidemiol & Biostat, London, England; Kings Coll London, Inst Psychiat, MRC Social Genet Dev Psychiat Ctr, London WC2R 2LS, England.
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Cognitive Functioning and Family Risk Factors in Relation to Symptom Behaviors of ADHD and ODD in Adolescents2012In: Journal of Attention Disorders, ISSN 1087-0547, E-ISSN 1557-1246, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 284-294Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: In this study, the authors investigated whether ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) behaviors share associations with problems in cognitive functioning and/or family risk factors in adolescence. This was done by examining independent as well as specific associations of cognitive functioning and family risk factors with ADHD and ODD behaviors. Method: A sample of 120 adolescents from the general population was assessed on various cognitive tasks. ADHD and ODD behaviors were measured through parental and teacher ratings based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition) criteria. Parents and adolescents provided information regarding measures of family risk factors. Results: The results show that only cognitive functioning was associated with ADHD behaviors, and family risk factors were, independent of cognitive functioning, associated with ODD behaviors. Conclusion: These results suggest that cognitive performance bears a specific significance for ADHD behaviors, whereas family risk factors have specific importance for ODD behaviors.

  • 7.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    University of Tampere.
    Peltola, Mikko J
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    Puura, Kaija
    Mononen, Nina
    Lehtimäki, Terho
    Leppänen, Jukka M
    Regulatory variant of the TPH2 gene and early life stress are associated with heightened attention to social signals of fear in infants2014In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, ISSN 0021-9630, E-ISSN 1469-7610, Vol. 55, no 7, p. 793-801Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Cross-species evidence suggests that genetic and experiential factors act early in development to establish individual emotional traits, but little is known about the mechanisms that emerge during this period to mediate long-term outcomes. Here, we tested the hypothesis that known genetic and environmental risk conditions may heighten infants' natural tendency to attend to threat-alerting stimuli, resulting in a cognitive bias that may contribute to emotional vulnerability.

    METHODS: Data from two samples of 5-7-month-old infants (N = 139) were used to examine whether established candidate variations in the serotonin-system genes, i.e., TPH2 SNP rs4570625 (-703 G/T) and HTR1A SNP rs6295 (-1019 G/C), and early rearing condition (maternal stress and depressive symptoms) are associated with alterations in infants' attention to facial expressions. Infants were tested with a paradigm that assesses the ability to disengage attention from a centrally presented stimulus (a nonface control stimulus or a neutral, happy, or fearful facial expression) toward the location of a new stimulus in the visual periphery (a geometric shape).

    RESULTS: TPH2 -703 T-carrier genotype (i.e., TT homozygotes and heterozygotes), presence of maternal stress and depressive symptoms, and a combination of the T-carrier genotype and maternal depressive symptoms were associated with a relatively greater difficulty disengaging attention from fearful facial expressions. No associations were found with infants' temperamental traits.

    CONCLUSIONS: Alterations in infants' natural attentional bias toward fearful facial expressions may emerge prior to the manifestation of emotional and social behaviors and provide a sensitive marker of early emotional development.

  • 8.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    University of Tampere.
    Peltola, Mikko
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Attention to Facial Expressions of Emotions in Infancy2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Tillman, Carin
    Eninger, Lilianne
    Rodriguez, Alina
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    Cognitive functioning and social risk factors in relation to symptoms of ADHD and ODD in adolescents2009Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Univ Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
    Wass, Sam
    Univ East London, London, England.
    Training basic visual attention leads to changes in responsiveness to social communication cues in 9-month-old infants2018In: Child Development, ISSN 0009-3920, E-ISSN 1467-8624, Vol. 89, no 3, p. E199-E213Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated transfer effects of gaze‐interactive attention training to more complex social and cognitive skills in infancy. Seventy 9‐month‐olds were assigned to a training group (n = 35) or an active control group (n = 35). Before, after, and at 6‐week follow‐up both groups completed an assessment battery assessing transfer to nontrained aspects of attention control, including table top tasks assessing social attention in seminaturalistic contexts. Transfer effects were found on nontrained screen‐based tasks but importantly also on a structured observation task assessing the infants’ likelihood to respond to an adult's social‐communication cues. The results causally link basic attention skills and more complex social‐communicative skills and provide a principle for studying causal mechanisms of early development.

  • 11.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    University of Tampere.
    Wass, Sam
    Jukka, Leppänen
    Using a novel gaze-contingent eye-tracking method to improve core cognitive processes in infancy2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    University of Tampere.
    Wass, Sam
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Can gaze-interactive training be used as an intervention method to improve core attention processes in infancy?2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    University of Tampere.
    Wass, Sam
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Training non-social attention control improves infants’ socio-cognitive abilities2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Forssman, Linda
    et al.
    University of Tampere.
    Wass, Sam
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Understanding and training infants’ attention2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Johansson, Maria
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Forssman, Linda
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Individual differences in 10-month-olds' performance on the A-not-B task2014In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 55, no 2, p. 130-135Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study used the classical A-not-B task (Piaget, ) to explore individual differences in cognitive flexibility in 10-month-old infants by: (1) examining how differences in search performance during A trials relate to search performance during B trials; (2) studying the relation between temperamental dimensions and A-not-B performance; and (3) investigating differences in search performance between looking and reaching responses within the same task. Forty infants were tested on a fixed-design-version of the A-not-B task, not allowing for training or individual adjustment, but instead eliciting additional search behaviors than the common correct responses in A trials and perseverative errors in B trials. Infants were also rated by their parents on the temperamental scales Activity level and Attention span. The main findings were: (1) performance on A trials affected B trial performance, with infants being more correct on A trials having more incorrect and less 'no search' responses on B trials; (2) activity level, but not attention span, was related to performance on the A-not-B task, with infants performing better on A trials having a lower activity level; and (3) there were a few differences in performance with regard to modality, indicating that responding correctly by looking may be less cognitively demanding than doing so by reaching. This study demonstrated that 10-month-olds show a wide variation of search behaviors on this A-not-B task, resulting in individual differences in performance. These differences are suggested to reflect variation in temperamental activity level as well as maturity of short term/working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility.

  • 16. Kaatiala, Jussi
    et al.
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    Forssman, Linda
    Perdue, Katherine
    Leppänen, Jukka
    A graphical user interface for infant ERP analysis2014In: Behavior Research Methods, ISSN 1554-351X, E-ISSN 1554-3528, Vol. 46, no 3, p. 745-757Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recording of event-related potentials (ERPs) is one of the best-suited technologies for examining brain function in human infants. Yet the existing software packages are not optimized for the unique requirements of analyzing artifact-prone ERP data from infants. We developed a new graphical user interface that enables an efficient implementation of a two-stage approach to the analysis of infant ERPs. In the first stage, video records of infant behavior are synchronized with ERPs at the level of individual trials to reject epochs with noncompliant behavior and other artifacts. In the second stage, the interface calls MATLAB and EEGLAB (Delorme & Makeig, Journal of Neuroscience Methods 134(1):9-21, 2004) functions for further preprocessing of the ERP signal itself (i.e., filtering, artifact removal, interpolation, and rereferencing). Finally, methods are included for data visualization and analysis by using bootstrapped group averages. Analyses of simulated and real EEG data demonstrated that the proposed approach can be effectively used to establish task compliance, remove various types of artifacts, and perform representative visualizations and statistical comparisons of ERPs. The interface is available for download from http://www.uta.fi/med/icl/methods/eeg.html in a format that is widely applicable to ERP studies with special populations and open for further editing by users.

  • 17.
    Kenward, Ben
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Oxford Brookes Univ, Oxford, England.
    Koch, Felix-Sebastian
    Linköping Univ, Linköping, Sweden.
    Forssman, Linda
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Univ Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
    Brehm, Julia
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Tidemann, Ida
    Univ Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Sundqvist, Annette
    Linköping Univ, Linköping, Sweden.
    Marciszko, Carin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hermansen, Tone Kristine
    Univ Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Heimann, Mikael
    Linköping Univ, Linköping, Sweden.
    Gredebäck, Gustaf
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Saccadic Reaction Times in Infants and Adults: Spatiotemporal Factors, Gender, and Interlaboratory Variation2017In: Developmental Psychology, ISSN 0012-1649, E-ISSN 1939-0599, Vol. 53, no 9, p. 1750-1764Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Saccade latency is widely used across infant psychology to investigate infants' understanding of events. Interpreting particular latency values requires knowledge of standard saccadic RTs, but there is no consensus as to typical values. This study provides standard estimates of infants' (n = 194, ages 9 to 15 months) saccadic RTs under a range of different spatiotemporal conditions. To investigate the reliability of such standard estimates, data is collected at 4 laboratories in 3 countries. Results indicate that reactions to the appearance of a new object are much faster than reactions to the deflection of a currently fixated moving object; upward saccades are slower than downward or horizontal saccades; reactions to more peripheral stimuli are much slower; and this slowdown is greater for boys than girls. There was little decrease in saccadic RTs between 9 and 15 months, indicating that the period of slow development which is protracted into adolescence begins in late infancy. Except for appearance and deflection differences, infant effects were weak or absent in adults (n = 40). Latency estimates and spatiotemporal effects on latency were generally consistent across laboratories, but a number of lab differences in factors such as individual variation were found. Some but not all differences were attributed to minor procedural differences, highlighting the importance of replication. Confidence intervals (95%) for infants' median reaction latencies for appearance stimuli were 242 to 250 ms and for deflection stimuli 350 to 367 ms.

  • 18.
    Leppänen, Jukka M
    et al.
    University of Tampere.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Kaatiala, Jussi
    University of Tampere.
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    University of Tampere.
    Wass, Sam
    Widely applicable MATLAB routines for automated analysis of saccadic reaction times2015In: Behavior Research Methods, ISSN 1554-351X, E-ISSN 1554-3528, Vol. 47, no 2, p. 538-548Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Saccadic reaction time (SRT) is a widely used dependent variable in eye-tracking studies of human cognition and its disorders. SRTs are also frequently measured in studies with special populations, such as infants and young children, who are limited in their ability to follow verbal instructions and remain in a stable position over time. In this article, we describe a library of MATLAB routines (Mathworks, Natick, MA) that are designed to (1) enable completely automated implementation of SRT analysis for multiple data sets and (2) cope with the unique challenges of analyzing SRTs from eye-tracking data collected from poorly cooperating participants. The library includes preprocessing and SRT analysis routines. The preprocessing routines (i.e., moving median filter and interpolation) are designed to remove technical artifacts and missing samples from raw eye-tracking data. The SRTs are detected by a simple algorithm that identifies the last point of gaze in the area of interest, but, critically, the extracted SRTs are further subjected to a number of postanalysis verification checks to exclude values contaminated by artifacts. Example analyses of data from 5- to 11-month-old infants demonstrated that SRTs extracted with the proposed routines were in high agreement with SRTs obtained manually from video records, robust against potential sources of artifact, and exhibited moderate to high test-retest stability. We propose that the present library has wide utility in standardizing and automating SRT-based cognitive testing in various populations. The MATLAB routines are open source and can be downloaded from http://www.uta.fi/med/icl/methods.html .

  • 19. Leppänen, Jukka M
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Peltola, Mikko
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    Kaija, Puura
    Mononen, Nina
    Lehtimäki, Terho
    Paper presentation entitled: Eye-tracking markers of early neurodevelopment in human infants2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 20. Leppänen, Jukka M
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    Kaija, Puura
    Mononen, Nina
    Terho, Lehtimäki
    Towards novel, widely-applicable markers of early childhood development in at-risk populations2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 21. Maria, Johansson
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    Individual Differences in Behavior on an Exploratory Version of the A-not-B task2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 22. Peltola, Mikko
    et al.
    Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian
    van IJzendoorn, Marinius
    Biro, Szilvia
    Lenneke, Alink
    Huffmeijer, Renske
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    Puura, Kaija
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Attachment-Related Individual Differences in Attention and Neural Responses to Emotional Expressions at 5 and 7 Months of age2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 23. Peltola, Mikko
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Puura, Kaija
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Biro, Szilvia
    Huffmeijer, Renske
    Alink, Lenneke
    Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian
    van IJzendoorn, Marinus
    Threat-Related Attentional Biases at 7 Months: Associations With Later Attachment Security.2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 24. Peltola, Mikko
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    Puura, Kaija
    Mäntymaa, Mirjami
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Antecedents of attachment: Attentional responses to social signals of emotion in infancy2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 25. Peltola, Mikko
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    Puura, Kaija
    van IJzendoorn, Marinus
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Antecedents of attachment security in infancy: Attention and neural responses to negative emotions2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 26. Peltola, Mikko
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    Puura, Kaija
    van IJzendoorn, Marinus
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Attention and neural responses to fearful faces at 7 months: Associations with later attachment security2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 27. Peltola, Mikko
    et al.
    Hietanen, Jari
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Leppänen, Jukka
    The Emergence and Stability of the Attentional Bias to Fearful Faces in Infancy2013In: Infancy, ISSN 1525-0008, E-ISSN 1532-7078, Vol. 18, no 6, p. 905-926Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several studies have shown that at 7 months of age, infants display an atten- tional bias toward fearful facial expressions. In this study, we analyzed visual attention and heart rate data from a cross-sectional study with 5-, 7-, 9-, and 11-month-old infants (Experiment 1) and visual attention from a longitudinal study with 5- and 7-month-old infants (Experiment 2) to exam- ine the emergence and stability of the attentional bias to fearful facial expressions. In both experiments, the attentional bias to fearful faces appeared to emerge between 5 and 7 months of age: 5-month-olds did not show a difference in disengaging attention from fearful and nonfearful faces, whereas 7- and 9-month-old infants had a lower probability of disengaging attention from fearful than nonfearful faces. Across the age groups, heart 

    rate (HR) data (Experiment 1) showed a more pronounced and longer-last- ing HR deceleration to fearful than nonfearful expressions. The results are discussed in relation to the development of the perception and experience of fear and the interaction between emotional and attentional processes. 

  • 28. Peltola, Mikko J
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Puura, Kaija
    van IJzendoorn, Marinus H
    Leppänen, Jukka M
    Attention to Faces Expressing Negative Emotion at 7 Months Predicts Attachment Security at 14 Months2015In: Child Development, ISSN 0009-3920, E-ISSN 1467-8624, Vol. 86, no 5, p. 1321-1332Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To investigate potential infant-related antecedents characterizing later attachment security, this study tested whether attention to facial expressions, assessed with an eye-tracking paradigm at 7 months of age (N = 73), predicted infant-mother attachment in the Strange Situation Procedure at 14 months. Attention to fearful faces at 7 months predicted attachment security, with a smaller attentional bias to fearful expressions associated with insecure attachment. Attachment disorganization in particular was linked to an absence of the age-typical attentional bias to fear. These data provide the first evidence linking infants' attentional bias to negative facial expressions with attachment formation and suggest reduced sensitivity to facial expressions of negative emotion as a testable trait that could link attachment disorganization with later behavioral outcomes.

  • 29. Tillman, Carin
    et al.
    Eninger, Lilianne
    Forssman, Linda
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    ADHD symptoms and specific working memory components: a developmental perspective2009Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 30.
    Tillman, Carin
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Eninger, Lilianne
    Forssman, Linda
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The Relation Between Working Memory Components and ADHD Symptoms From a Developmental Perspective2011In: Developmental Neuropsychology, ISSN 8756-5641, E-ISSN 1532-6942, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 181-198Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective was to examine the relations between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and four working memory (WM) components (short-term memory and central executive in verbal and visuospatial domains) in 284 6-16-year-old children from the general population. The results showed that verbal and visuospatial short-term memory and verbal central executive uniquely contributed to inattention symptoms. Age interacted with verbal short-term memory in predicting inattention, with the relation being stronger in older children. These findings support the notion of ADHD as a developmental disorder, with changes in associated neuropsychological deficits across time. The results further indicate ADHD-related deficits in several specific WM components.

  • 31. Tillman, Carin
    et al.
    Nyberg, Lilianne
    Forssman, Linda
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Complex WM Span Performance From a Developmental Perspective2008Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 32. Wass, Sam
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Data quality may affect many key dependent variables in eye tracker analyses - both in experimental and free-viewing paradigms2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 33. Wass, Sam
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    University of Tampere.
    Leppänen, Jukka
    Robustness and Precision: How Data Quality May Influence Key Dependent Variables in Infant Eye-Tracker Analyses2014In: Infancy, ISSN 1525-0008, E-ISSN 1532-7078, Vol. 19, no 5, p. 427-460Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, eye-tracking has become a popular method for drawing conclusions about infant cognition. Relatively little attention has been paid, however, to methodological issues associated with infant eye-tracking. Here, we consider the possibility that systematic differences in the quality of raw eye-tracking data obtained from different populations and individuals might create the impression of differences in gaze behavior, without this actually being the case. First, we show that lower quality eye-tracking data are obtained from populations who are younger and populations who are more fidgety and that data quality declines during the testing session. Second, we assess how these differences in data quality might influence key dependent variables in eye-tracking analyses. We show that lower precision data can appear to suggest a reduced likelihood to look at the eyes in a face relative to the mouth. We also show that less robust tracking may manifest as slower reaction time latencies (e.g., time to first fixation). Finally, we show that less robust data can manifest as shorter first look/visit duration. We argue that data quality should be reported in all analyses of infant eye-tracking data and/or that steps should be taken to control for data quality before performing final analyses.

  • 34. Watanabe, Hama
    et al.
    Forssman, Linda
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Green, Dorota
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bohlin, Gunilla
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Attention demands influence 10- and 12-month-old infants' perseverative behavior.2012In: Developmental Psychology, ISSN 0012-1649, E-ISSN 1939-0599, Vol. 48, no 1, p. 46-55Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

  • 35.
    Yrttiaho, Santeri
    et al.
    University of Tampere.
    Forssman, Linda
    Kaatiala, Jussi
    Leppänen, Jukka M
    Developmental precursors of social brain networks: the emergence of attentional and cortical sensitivity to facial expressions in 5 to 7 months old infants.2014In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 6Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Biases in attention towards facial cues during infancy may have an important role in the development of social brain networks. The current study used a longitudinal design to examine the stability of infants' attentional biases towards facial expressions and to elucidate how these biases relate to emerging cortical sensitivity to facial expressions. Event-related potential (ERP) and attention disengagement data were acquired in response to the presentation of fearful, happy, neutral, and phase-scrambled face stimuli from the same infants at 5 and 7 months of age. The tendency to disengage from faces was highly consistent across both ages. However, the modulation of this behavior by fearful facial expressions was uncorrelated between 5 and 7 months. In the ERP data, fear-sensitive activity was observed over posterior scalp regions, starting at the latency of the N290 wave. The scalp distribution of this sensitivity to fear in ERPs was dissociable from the topography of face-sensitive modulation within the same latency range. While attentional bias scores were independent of co-registered ERPs, attention bias towards fearful faces at 5 months of age predicted the fear-sensitivity in ERPs at 7 months of age. The current results suggest that the attention bias towards fear could be involved in the developmental tuning of cortical networks for social signals of emotion.

1 - 35 of 35
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