Thursday, March 21, 2013


The development of creative cognition across adolescence: distinct trajectories for insight and divergent thinking

Kleibeuker, SW; De Dreu, CKW; Crone, EA

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):2-12; JAN 2013

We examined developmental trajectories of creative cognition across
adolescence. Participants (N = 98), divided into four age groups (12/13
yrs, 15/16 yrs, 18/19 yrs, and 25-30 yrs), were subjected to a battery
of tasks gauging creative insight (visual; verbal) and divergent
thinking (verbal; visuo-spatial). The two older age groups outperformed
the two younger age groups on insight tasks. The 25-30-year-olds
outperformed the two youngest age groups on the originality measure of
verbal divergent thinking. No age-group differences were observed for
verbal divergent thinking fluency and flexibility. On divergent thinking
in the visuo-spatial domain, however, only 15/16-year-olds outperformed
12/13-year-olds; a model with peak performance for 15/16-years-old
showed the best fit. The results for the different creativity processes
are discussed in relation to cognitive and related neurobiological
models. We conclude that mid-adolescence is a period of not only
immaturities but also of creative potentials in the visuo-spatial
domain, possibly related to developing control functions and explorative


*Pages: 13-23 (Article)
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The COMT Val/Met polymorphism is associated with reading-related skills and consistent patterns of functional neural activation

Landi, N; Frost, SJ; Mencl, WE; Preston, JL; Jacobsen, LK; Lee, M;
Yrigollen, C; Pugh, KR; Grigorenko, EL

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):13-23; JAN 2013

In both children and adults there is large variability in reading skill,
with approximately 5-10% of individuals characterized as having reading
disability; these individuals struggle to learn to read despite adequate
intelligence and opportunity. Although it is well established that a
substantial portion of this variability is attributed to the genetic
differences between individuals, specifics of the connections between
reading and the genome are not understood. This article presents data
that suggest that variation in the COMT gene, which has previously been
associated with variation in higher-order cognition, is associated with
reading and reading-related skills, at the level of both brain and
behavior. In particular, we found that the COMT Val/Met polymorphism at
rs4680, which results in the substitution of the ancestral Valine (Val)
by Methionine (Met), was associated with better performance on a number
of critical reading measures and with patterns of functional neural
activation that have been linked to better readers. We argue that this
polymorphism, known for its broad effects on cognition, may modulate
(likely through frontal lobe function) reading skill.


*Pages: 24-34 (Article)
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(Non)words, (non)words, (non)words: evidence for a protolexicon during the first year of life

Ngon, C; Martin, A; Dupoux, E; Cabrol, D; Dutat, M; Peperkamp, S

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):24-34; JAN 2013

Previous research with artificial language learning paradigms has shown
that infants are sensitive to statistical cues to word boundaries
(Saffran, Aslin & Newport, 1996) and that they can use these cues to
extract word-like units (Saffran, 2001). However, it is unknown whether
infants use statistical information to construct a receptive lexicon
when acquiring their native language. In order to investigate this
issue, we rely on the fact that besides real words a statistical
algorithm extracts sound sequences that are highly frequent in
infant-directed speech but constitute nonwords. In three experiments, we
use a preferential listening paradigm to test French-learning
11-month-old infants' recognition of highly frequent disyllabic
sequences from their native language. In Experiments 1 and 2, we use
nonword stimuli and find that infants listen longer to high-frequency
than to low-frequency sequences. In Experiment 3, we compare
high-frequency nonwords to real words in the same frequency range, and
find that infants show no preference. Thus, at 11 months,
French-learning infants recognize highly frequent sound sequences from
their native language and fail to differentiate between words and
nonwords among these sequences. These results are evidence that they
have used statistical information to extract word candidates from their
input and stored them in a 'protolexicon', containing both words and


*Pages: 35-46 (Article)
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Do subitizing deficits in developmental dyscalculia involve pattern recognition weakness?

Ashkenazi, S; Mark-Zigdon, N; Henik, A

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):35-46; JAN 2013

The abilities of children diagnosed with developmental dyscalculia (DD)
were examined in two types of object enumeration: subitizing, and small
estimation (5-9 dots). Subitizing is usually defined as a fast and
accurate assessment of a number of small dots (range 1 to 4 dots), and
estimation is an imprecise process to assess a large number of items
(range 5 dots or more). Based on reaction time (RT) and accuracy
analysis, our results indicated a deficit in the subitizing and small
estimation range among DD participants in relation to controls. There
are indications that subitizing is based on pattern recognition, thus
presenting dots in a canonical shape in the estimation range should
result in a subitizing-like pattern. In line with this theory, our
control group presented a subitizing-like pattern in the small
estimation range for canonically arranged dots, whereas the DD
participants presented a deficit in the estimation of canonically
arranged dots. The present finding indicates that pattern recognition
difficulties may play a significant role in both subitizing and
subitizing deficits among those with DD.


*Pages: 47-55 (Article)
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Minimal-group membership influences children's responses to novel experience with group members

Schug, MG; Shusterman, A; Barth, H; Patalano, AL

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):47-55; JAN 2013

Children, like adults, tend to prefer ingroup over outgroup individuals,
but how this group bias affects children's processing of information
about social groups is not well understood. In this study, 5- and
6-year-old children were assigned to artificial groups. They observed
instances of ingroup and outgroup members behaving in either a positive
(egalitarian) or a negative (stingy) manner. Observations of positive
ingroup and negative outgroup behaviors reliably reduced children's
liking of novel outgroup members, while observations of negative ingroup
and positive outgroup behaviors had little effect on liking ratings. In
addition, children successfully identified the more generous group only
when the ingroup was egalitarian and the outgroup stingy. These data
provide compelling evidence that children treat knowledge of and
experiences with ingroups and outgroups differently, and thereby
differently interpret identical observations of ingroup versus outgroup


*Pages: 56-66 (Article)
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Deficits in volitional oculomotor control align with language status in autism spectrum disorders

Kelly, DJ; Walker, R; Norbury, CF

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):56-66; JAN 2013

Eye-tracking paradigms are increasingly used to investigate higher-level
social and cognitive processing in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
However, the integrity of the oculomotor system within ASD is unclear,
with contradictory reports of aberrant eye-movements on basic oculomotor
tasks. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether
reducing population heterogeneity and distinguishing neurocognitive
phenotypes can clarify discrepancies in oculomotor behaviour evident in
previous reports. Reflexive and volitional eye-movement control was
assessed in 73 children aged 8-14 years from four distinct groups:
Autism Language Normal (ALN), Autism Language Impaired (ALI),
non-autistic Language Impaired (LI) and Typically Developing (TD).
Eye-movement control was measured using pro-and antisaccade tasks and a
novel 'search distracter' task to measure distractibility. Reflexive
eye-movements were equivalent across groups, but deficits in volitional
eye-movement control were found that aligned with language status, and
were not specific to ASD. More than 80% of ALI and LI children presented
error rates at least 1.5 SDs below the TD mean in an antisaccade task.
In the search distracter task, 35.29% of ALI children and 43.75% of LI
children had error rates greater than 1.5 SDs compared with 17.64% of
ALN children. A significant proportion of children with
neurodevelopmental disorders involving language function have pronounced
difficulties suppressing reflexive saccades and maintaining fixations in
the presence of competing stimuli. We extend the putative link between
ALI and LI populations to non-language tasks, and highlight the need to
account for co-morbidity in understanding the ontogenesis of ASD.


*Pages: 67-83 (Article)
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Later language development in narratives in children with perinatal stroke

Reilly, JS; Wasserman, S; Appelbaum, M

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):67-83; JAN 2013

Studies of young children with unilateral perinatal stroke (PS) have
confirmed the plasticity of the developing brain for acquiring language.
While recent studies of typically developing children have demonstrated
the significant development of language well into adolescence, we know
little regarding the course of language development in the PS group as
they mature. Will children with PS continue to show the same remarkable
plasticity that they exhibited at younger ages? In the present paper we
investigate later language and discourse in children with perinatal
stroke (ages 7-16) using spoken personal narrative as the discourse
context. In contrast to the findings of the discourse studies of younger
children with PS, children with left hemisphere lesions made more
morphological errors, used less complex syntax and fewer syntactic types
than controls; they also produced more impoverished story settings. In
contrast, those with right hemisphere lesions performed comparably to
controls, except in their impoverished use of complex syntax. The
findings provide insight into the nature of later spoken language
development in these children, revealing both the nature and extent of
neuroplasticity for language as well as potential regional biases.


*Pages: 84-90 (Article)
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Fearlessness in juvenile offenders is associated with offending rate

Syngelaki, EM; Fairchild, G; Moore, SC; Savage, JC; van Goozen, SHM

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):84-90; JAN 2013

Poor fear conditioning is a correlate of violent offending in adults,
but there is no evidence concerning juvenile offenders. Our aim was to
compare emotional learning in juvenile offenders and controls and
establish whether crime rate is related to seriousness of emotional
learning problems. To this end, emotional learning was assessed in 42
juvenile offenders by measuring skin conductance responding (SCR) during
fear conditioning. Compared to controls, juvenile offenders showed lower
conditioned SCRs to visual stimuli associated with a subsequent aversive
stimulus and the magnitude of the SCR during fear acquisition was
inversely associated with the number of their recorded offences. These
findings suggest that juvenile offenders have impairments in the neural
systems that subserve emotional learning. The implication is that using
punitive measures to control persistent offenders is unlikely to be
effective in an identifiable group of juvenile offenders.


*Pages: 91-100 (Article)
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Getting the closer object? An information-based dissociation between vision for perception and vision for movement in early infancy

van Wermeskerken, M; van der Kamp, J; Savelsbergh, GJP; von Hofsten, C

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):91-100; JAN 2013

In human adults two functionally and neuro-anatomically separate systems
exist for the use of visual information in perception and the use of
visual information to control movements (Milner & Goodale, 1995, 2008).
We investigated whether this separation is already functioning in the
early stages of the development of reaching. To this end, 6- and
7-month-old infants were presented with two identical objects at
identical distances in front of an illusory Ponzo-like background that
made them appear to be located at different distances. In two further
conditions without the illusory background, the two objects were
presented at physically different distances. Preferential reaching
outcomes indicated that the allocentric distance information contained
in the illusory background affected the perception of object distance.
Yet, infants' reaching kinematics were only affected by the objects'
physical distance and not by the perceptual distance manipulation. These
findings were taken as evidence for the two-visual systems, as proposed
by Milner and Goodale (2008), being functional in early infancy. We
discuss the wider implications of this early dissociation.


*Pages: 101-110 (Article)
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Speech-evoked auditory brainstem responses reflect familial and cognitive influences

Hornickel, J; Lin, D; Kraus, N

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):101-110; JAN 2013

Cortical function and related cognitive, language, and communication
skills are genetically influenced. The auditory brainstem response to
speech is linked to language skill, reading ability, cognitive skills,
and speech-in-noise perception; however, the impact of shared genetic
and environmental factors on the response has not been investigated. We
assessed auditory brainstem responses to speech presented in quiet and
background noise from (1) 23 pairs of same sex, same learning diagnosis
siblings (Siblings), (2) 23 unrelated children matched on age, sex, IQ,
and reading ability to one of the siblings (Reading-Matched), and (3) 22
pairs of unrelated children matched on age and sex but not on reading
ability to the same sibling (Age/Sex-Matched). By quantifying response
similarity as the intersubject response-to-response correlation for
sibling pairs, reading-matched pairs, and age-and sex-matched pairs, we
found that siblings had more similar responses than age-and sex-matched
pairs and reading-matched pairs. Similarity of responses between
siblings was as high as the similarity of responses collected from an
individual over the course of the recording session. Responses from
unrelated children matched on reading were more similar than responses
from unrelated children matched only on age and sex, supporting previous
data linking variations in auditory brainstem activity with variations
in reading ability. These results suggest that auditory brainstem
function can be influenced by siblingship and auditory-based
communication skills such as reading, motivating the use of
speech-evoked auditory brainstem responses for assessing risk of reading
and communication impairments in family members.


*Pages: 111-115 (Article)
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Language is not necessary for color categories

Ozturk, O; Shayan, S; Liszkowski, U; Majid, A

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):111-115; JAN 2013

The origin of color categories is under debate. Some researchers argue
that color categories are linguistically constructed, while others claim
they have a pre-linguistic, and possibly even innate, basis. Although
there is some evidence that 4-6-month-old infants respond categorically
to color, these empirical results have been challenged in recent years.
First, it has been claimed that previous demonstrations of color
categories in infants may reflect color preferences instead. Second, and
more seriously, other labs have reported failing to replicate the basic
findings at all. In the current study we used eye-tracking to test
8-month-old infants' categorical perception of a previously attested
color boundary (green-blue) and an additional color boundary
(blue-purple). Our results show that infants are faster and more
accurate at fixating targets when they come from a different color
category than when from the same category (even though the chromatic
separation sizes were equated). This is the case for both blue-green and
blue-purple. Our findings provide independent evidence for the existence
of color categories in pre-linguistic infants, and suggest that
categorical perception of color can occur without color language.


*Pages: 116-123 (Article)
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Atypical updating of face representations with experience in children with autism

Ewing, L; Pellicano, E; Rhodes, G

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):116-123; JAN 2013

Face identity aftereffects are significantly diminished in children with
autism relative to typical children, which may reflect reduced
perceptual updating with experience. Here, we investigated whether this
atypicality also extends to non-face stimulus categories, which might
signal a pervasive visual processing difference in individuals with
autism. We used a figural aftereffect task to measure directly
perceptual updating following exposure to distorted upright faces,
inverted faces and cars, in typical children and children with autism. A
size-change between study and test stimuli limited the likelihood that
any processing atypicalities reflected group differences in adaptation
to low-level features of the stimuli. Results indicated that, relative
to typical children, figural aftereffects for upright faces, but not
inverted faces or cars, were significantly attenuated in children with
autism. Moreover, the group difference was amplified when we isolated
the 'face-selective' component of the aftereffect, by partialling out
the mid-level shape adaptation common to upright and inverted face
stimuli. Notably, the aftereffects of typical children were
disproportionately larger for upright faces than for inverted faces and
cars, but the magnitude of aftereffects of autistic children was not
similarly modulated according to stimulus category. These findings are
inconsistent with a pervasive adaptive coding atypicality relative to
typical children, and suggest that reduced perceptual updating may
constitute a high-level, and possibly face-selective, visual processing
difference in children with autism.


*Pages: 124-135 (Article)
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Environmental contributions to preschoolers' semantic fluency

Kave, G; Shalmon, M; Knafo, A

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):124-135; JAN 2013

Semantic fluency was examined in Hebrew-speaking 5-year-old monozygotic
and dizygotic twins (N = 396, 198 pairs), 22% of them with
mother-reported speech-related problems. There were positive
correlations of similar magnitudes among monozygotic, same-sex
dizygotic, and opposite-sex dizygotic twins. Analyses showed no genetic
effects, alongside significant shared (39%) and non-shared environmental
(61%) effects on fluency scores. The presence of speech-related problems
in one twin affected the fluency score of the co-twin. A multivariate
regression analysis revealed that parental education and length of stay
at daycare significantly predicted fluency scores. We suggest that
semantic fluency performance is highly affected by environmental factors
at age 5 although genetic effects might emerge later on.


*Pages: 136-148 (Article)
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ANS acuity and mathematics ability in preschoolers from low-income homes: contributions of inhibitory control

Fuhs, MW; McNeil, NM

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (1):136-148; JAN 2013

Recent findings by Libertus, Feigenson, and Halberda (2011) suggest that
there is an association between the acuity of young children's
approximate number system (ANS) and their mathematics ability before
exposure to instruction in formal schooling. The present study examined
the generalizability and validity of these findings in a sample of
preschoolers from low-income homes. Children attending Head Start (N =
103) completed measures to assess ANS acuity, mathematics ability,
receptive vocabulary, and inhibitory control. Results showed only a weak
association between ANS acuity and mathematics ability that was reduced
to non-significance when controlling for a direct measure of receptive
vocabulary. Results also revealed that inhibitory control plays an
important role in the relation between ANS acuity and mathematics
ability. Specifically, ANS acuity accounted for significant variance in
mathematics ability over and above receptive vocabulary, but only for
ANS acuity trials in which surface area conflicted with numerosity.
Moreover, this association became non-significant when controlling for
inhibitory control. These results suggest that early mathematical
experiences prior to formal schooling may influence the strength of the
association between ANS acuity and mathematics ability and that
inhibitory control may drive that association in young children.


*Pages: 149-158 (Article)
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Probabilistic cue combination: less is more

Yurovsky, D; Boyer, TW; Smith, LB; Yu, C

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):149-158; MAR 2013

Learning about the structure of the world requires learning
probabilistic relationships: rules in which cues do not predict outcomes
with certainty. However, in some cases, the ability to track
probabilistic relationships is a handicap, leading adults to perform
non-normatively in prediction tasks. For example, in the dilution
effect, predictions made from the combination of two cues of different
strengths are less accurate than those made from the stronger cue alone.
Here we show that dilution is an adult problem; 11-month-old infants
combine strong and weak predictors normatively. These results extend and
add support for the less is more hypothesis: limited cognitive resources
can lead children to represent probabilistic information differently
from adults, and this difference in representation can have important
downstream consequences for prediction.


*Pages: 159-172 (Article)
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Developmental trends in auditory processing can provide early predictions of language acquisition in young infants

Chonchaiya, W; Tardif, T; Mai, XQ; Xu, L; Li, MY; Kaciroti, N; Kileny,
PR; Shao, J; Lozoff, B

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):159-172; MAR 2013

Auditory processing capabilities at the subcortical level have been
hypothesized to impact an individual's development of both language and
reading abilities. The present study examined whether auditory
processing capabilities relate to language development in healthy
9-month-old infants. Participants were 71 infants (31 boys and 40 girls)
with both Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) and language assessments. At
6weeks and/or 9months of age, the infants underwent ABR testing using
both a standard hearing screening protocol with 30 dB clicks and a
second protocol using click pairs separated by 8, 16, and 64-ms
intervals presented at 80 dB. We evaluated the effects of interval
duration on ABR latency and amplitude elicited by the second click. At
9months, language development was assessed via parent report on the
Chinese Communicative Development Inventory - Putonghua version
(CCDI-P). Wave V latency z-scores of the 64-ms condition at 6weeks
showed strong direct relationships with Wave V latency in the same
condition at 9months. More importantly, shorter Wave V latencies at
9months showed strong relationships with the CCDI-P composite consisting
of phrases understood, gestures, and words produced. Likewise, infants
who had greater decreases in Wave V latencies from 6weeks to 9months had
higher CCDI-P composite scores. Females had higher language development
scores and shorter Wave V latencies at both ages than males.
Interestingly, when the ABR Wave V latencies at both ages were taken
into account, the direct effects of gender on language disappeared. In
conclusion, these results support the importance of low-level auditory
processing capabilities for early language acquisition in a population
of typically developing young infants. Moreover, the auditory brainstem
response in this paradigm shows promise as an electrophysiological
marker to predict individual differences in language development in
young children.


*Pages: 173-185 (Article)
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Infants' mu suppression during the observation of real and mimicked goal-directed actions

Warreyn, P; Ruysschaert, L; Wiersema, JR; Handl, A; Pattyn, G; Roeyers,

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):173-185; MAR 2013

Since their discovery in the early 1990s, mirror neurons have been
proposed to be related to many social-communicative abilities, such as
imitation. However, research into the early manifestations of the
putative neural mirroring system and its role in early social
development is still inconclusive. In the current EEG study, mu
suppression, generally thought to reflect activity in neural mirroring
systems was investigated in 18- to 30-month-olds during the observation
of object manipulations as well as mimicked actions. EEG power data
recorded from frontal, central, and parietal electrodes were analysed.
As predicted, based on previous research, mu wave suppression was found
over central electrodes during action observation and execution. In
addition, a similar suppression was found during the observation of
intransitive, mimicked hand movements. To a lesser extent, the results
also showed mu suppression at parietal electrode sites, over all three
conditions. Mu wave suppression during the observation of hand movements
and during the execution of actions was significantly correlated with
quality of imitation, but not with age or language level.


*Pages: 186-197 (Article)
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Frontolimbic neural circuitry at 6months predicts individual differences in joint attention at 9months

Elison, JT; Wolff, JJ; Heimer, DC; Paterson, SJ; Gu, HB; Hazlett, HC;
Styner, M; Gerig, G; Piven, J

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):186-197; MAR 2013

Elucidating the neural basis of joint attention in infancy promises to
yield important insights into the development of language and social
cognition, and directly informs developmental models of autism. We
describe a new method for evaluating responding to joint attention
performance in infancy that highlights the 9- to 10-month period as a
time interval of maximal individual differences. We then demonstrate
that fractional anisotropy in the right uncinate fasciculus, a white
matter fiber bundle connecting the amygdala to the ventral-medial
prefrontal cortex and anterior temporal pole, measured in 6-month-olds
predicts individual differences in responding to joint attention at
9months of age. The white matter microstructure of the right uncinate
was not related to receptive language ability at 9months. These findings
suggest that the development of core nonverbal social communication
skills in infancy is largely supported by preceding developments within
right lateralized frontotemporal brain systems.


*Pages: 198-208 (Article)
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EastWest cultural differences in context-sensitivity are evident in early childhood

Imada, T; Carlson, SM; Itakura, S

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):198-208; MAR 2013

Accumulating evidence suggests that North Americans tend to focus on
central objects whereas East Asians tend to pay more attention to
contextual information in a visual scene. Although it is generally
believed that such culturally divergent attention tendencies develop
through socialization, existing evidence largely depends on adult
samples. Moreover, no past research has investigated the relation
between context-sensitivity and other domains of cognitive development.
The present study examined children in the United States and Japan
(N=175, age 49years) to investigate the developmental pattern in
context-sensitivity and its relation to executive function. The study
found that context-sensitivity increased with age across cultures.
Nevertheless, Japanese children showed significantly greater
context-sensitivity than American children. Also, context-sensitivity
fully mediated the cultural difference in a set-shifting executive
function task, which might help explain past findings that East Asian
children outperformed their American counterparts on executive function.


*Pages: 209-226 (Article)
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The mentalistic basis of core social cognition: experiments in preverbal infants and a computational model

Hamlin, JK; Ullman, T; Tenenbaum, J; Goodman, N; Baker, C

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):209-226; MAR 2013

Evaluating individuals based on their pro- and anti-social behaviors is
fundamental to successful human interaction. Recent research suggests
that even preverbal infants engage in social evaluation; however, it
remains an open question whether infants' judgments are driven uniquely
by an analysis of the mental states that motivate others' helpful and
unhelpful actions, or whether non-mentalistic inferences are at play.
Here we present evidence from 10-month-olds, motivated and supported by
a Bayesian computational model, for mentalistic social evaluation in the
first year of life.A video abstract of this article can be viewed at


*Pages: 227-233 (Article)
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Perception of the motion trajectory of objects from moving cast shadows in infant Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata)

Imura, T; Adachi, I; Hattori, Y; Tomonaga, M

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):227-233; MAR 2013

The shadows cast by moving objects enable human adults and infants to
infer the motion trajectories of objects. Nonhuman animals must also be
able to discriminate between objects and their shadows and infer the
spatial layout of objects from cast shadows. However, the evolutionary
and comparative developmental origins of sensitivity to cast shadows
have not been investigated. In this study, we used a familiarity/novelty
preferential looking procedure to assess the ability of infant macaques,
aged 724weeks, to discriminate between a depth' display containing a
ball and cast shadow moving diagonally and an up' display containing a
ball with a diagonal trajectory and a shadow with a horizontal
trajectory. The infant macaques could discriminate the trajectories of
the balls based on the moving shadows. These findings suggest that the
ability to perceive the motion trajectory of an object from the moving
shadow is common to both humans and macaques.


*Pages: 234-248 (Article)
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SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18months

Fernald, A; Marchman, VA; Weisleder, A

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):234-248; MAR 2013

This research revealed both similarities and striking differences in
early language proficiency among infants from a broad range of
advantaged and disadvantaged families. English-learning infants (n=48)
were followed longitudinally from 18 to 24months, using real-time
measures of spoken language processing. The first goal was to track
developmental changes in processing efficiency in relation to vocabulary
learning in this diverse sample. The second goal was to examine
differences in these crucial aspects of early language development in
relation to family socioeconomic status (SES). The most important
findings were that significant disparities in vocabulary and language
processing efficiency were already evident at 18months between infants
from higher- and lower-SES families, and by 24months there was a 6-month
gap between SES groups in processing skills critical to language


*Pages: 249-259 (Article)
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Bidirectional influences between maternal parenting and children's peer problems: a longitudinal monozygotic twin difference study

Yamagata, S; Takahashi, Y; Ozaki, K; Fujisawa, KK; Nonaka, K; Ando, J

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):249-259; MAR 2013

This twin study examined the bidirectional relationship between maternal
parenting behaviors and children's peer problems that were not
confounded by genetic and family environmental factors. Mothers of 259
monozygotic twin pairs reported parenting behaviors and peer problems
when twins were 42 and 48months. Path analyses on monozygotic twin
difference scores revealed that authoritative parenting (the presence of
consistent discipline and lack of harsh parenting) and peer problems
simultaneously influenced each other. Authoritative parenting reduced
peer problems, and peer problems increased authoritative parenting.
Neither consistent discipline nor harsh parenting alone was associated
with peer problems. These results suggest that maternal authoritative
parenting works protectively in regard to children's peer problems, and
peer problems can evoke such effective parenting.


*Pages: 260-268 (Article)
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Generalist genes and cognitive abilities in Chinese twins

Chow, BWY; Ho, CSH; Wong, SWL; Waye, MMY; Bishop, DVM

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):260-268; MAR 2013

This study considered how far nonverbal cognitive, language and reading
abilities are affected by common genetic influences in a sample of 312
typically developing Chinese twin pairs aged from 3 to 11years. Children
were individually given tasks of Chinese word reading, receptive
vocabulary, phonological memory, tone awareness, syllable and rhyme
awareness, rapid automatized naming, morphological awareness and
orthographic skills, and Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices. Factor
analyses on the verbal tasks adjusted for age indicated two factors:
Language as the first factor and Reading as the second factor.
Univariate genetic analyses indicated that genetic influences were
substantial for nonverbal cognitive ability and moderate for language
and reading. Multivariate genetic analyses showed that nonverbal
cognitive ability, language and reading were influenced by shared
genetic origins, although there were specific genetic influences on
verbal skills that were distinct from those on nonverbal cognitive
ability. This study extends the Generalist Genes Hypothesis to Chinese
language and reading skills, suggesting that the general effects of
genes could be universal across languages.


*Pages: 269-286 (Review)
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Speed isn't everything: complex processing speed measures mask individual differences and developmental changes in executive control

Cepeda, NJ; Blackwell, KA; Munakata, Y

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):269-286; MAR 2013

The rate at which people process information appears to influence many
aspects of cognition across the lifespan. However, many commonly
accepted measures of processing speed' may require goal maintenance,
manipulation of information in working memory, and decision-making,
blurring the distinction between processing speed and executive control
and resulting in overestimation of processing speed contributions to
cognition. This concern may apply particularly to studies of
developmental change, as even seemingly simple processing speed measures
may require executive processes to keep children and older adults on
task. We report two new studies and a re-analysis of a published study,
testing predictions about how different processing speed measures
influence conclusions about executive control across the lifespan. We
find that the choice of processing speed measure affects the
relationship observed between processing speed and executive control, in
a manner that changes with age, and that choice of processing speed
measure affects conclusions about development and the relationship among
executive control measures. Implications for understanding processing
speed, executive control, and their development are discussed.


*Pages: 287-295 (Article)
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Auditory habituation in the fetus and neonate: an fMEG study

Muenssinger, J; Matuz, T; Schleger, F; Kiefer-Schmidt, I; Goelz, R;
Wacker-Gussmann, A; Birbaumer, N; Preissl, H

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):287-295; MAR 2013

Habituation the most basic form of learning is used to evaluate central
nervous system (CNS) maturation and to detect abnormalities in fetal
brain development. In the current study, habituation, stimulus
specificity and dishabituation of auditory evoked responses were
measured in fetuses and newborns using fetal magnetoencephalography
(fMEG). An auditory habituation paradigm consisting of 100 trains of
five 500Hz tones, one 750Hz tone (dishabituator) and two more 500Hz
tones, respectively, were presented to 41 fetuses (gestational age
3039weeks) and 22 newborns or babies (age 689days). Aresponse decrement
between the first and fifth tones (habituation), an increment between
the fifth tone and the dishabituator (stimulus specificity) and an
increment between the fifth (last tone before the dishabituator) and
seventh tones (first tone after the dishabituator) (dishabituation) were
expected. Fetuses showed weak responses to the first tone. However, a
significant response decrement between the second and fifth tones
(habituation) and a significant increment between the fifth tone and the
dishabituator (stimulus specificity) were found. No significant
difference was found for dishabituation nor was a developmental trend
found at the group level. From the neonatal data, significant values for
stimulus specificity were found. Sensory fatigue or adaptation was ruled
out as a reason for the response decrement due to the strong reactions
to the dishabituator. Taken together, the current study used fMEG to
directly show fetal habituation and provides evidence of fetal learning
in the last trimester of pregnancy.


*Pages: 296-313 (Review)
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Target Article with Commentaries: Developmental niche construction

Flynn, EG; Laland, KN; Kendal, RL; Kendal, JR

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):296-313; MAR 2013

Niche construction is the modification of components of the environment
through an organism's activities. Humans modify their environments
mainly through ontogenetic and cultural processes, and it is this
reliance on learning, plasticity and culture that lends human niche
construction a special potency. In this paper we aim to facilitate
discussion between researchers interested in niche construction and
those interested in human cognitive development by highlighting some of
the related processes. We discuss the transmission of culturally
relevant information, how the human mind is a symbol-generating and
artefact-devising system, and how these processes are bi-directional,
with infants and children both being directed, and directing, their own
development. We reflect on these in the light of four approaches:
natural pedagogy, activity theory, distributed cognition and situated
learning. Throughout, we highlight pertinent examples in non-humans that
parallel or further explicate the processes discussed. Finally we offer
three future directions; two involving the use of new techniques in the
realms of neuroscience and modelling, and the third suggesting
exploration of changes in the effects of niche construction across the


*Pages: 314-316 (Article)
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On hermit crabs and humans

Thomas, MSC

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):314-316; MAR 2013


*Pages: 317-319 (Article)
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Lifespan development of neuromodulation of adaptive control and motivation as an ontogenetic mechanism for developmental niche construction

Li, SC

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):317-319; MAR 2013


*Pages: 320-321 (Article)
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NCT and developmental psychology: a welcome rapprochement

Gauvain, M

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):320-321; MAR 2013


*Pages: 322-323 (Article)
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NCT and culture-conscious developmental science The Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition

Downing-Wilson, D; Pelaprat, E; Rosero, I; Vadeboncoeur, J; Packer, M;
Cole, M

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):322-323; MAR 2013


*Pages: 324-324 (Correction)
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Information from multiple modalities helps 5-month-olds learn abstract rules (vol 12, pg 504, 2009)

Frank, MC; Slemmer, JA; Marcus, GF; Johnson, SP

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):324-324; MAR 2013


*Pages: 325-325 (Correction)
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Whats mine is mine: twelve-month-olds use possessive pronouns to identify referents (vol 14, pg 859, 2011)

Saylor, MM; Ganea, PA; Vazquez, MD

*DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE*, 16 (2):325-325; MAR 2013

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