This research was supported by Grants HD049878 and HD043057 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) awarded to Martha Ann Bell. The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NICHD or the National Institutes of Health. We are grateful to the families for their participation in our research. The assistance of Denise Adkins, Lisa Bunomano, Annie Cardell, Anjolii Diaz, Morgan Hubble, Kacey Morasch, Leslie Patton, Vinaya Raj, Amanda Watson, and Christy Wolfe with data collection and coding is greatly appreciated.
Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function
Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 85, Issue 2, pages 397–404, March/April 2014
How to Cite
Cuevas, K. and Bell, M. A. (2014), Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function. Child Development, 85: 397–404. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12126
- Issue online: 17 MAR 2014
- Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2013
Individual differences in infant attention are theorized to reflect the speed of information processing and are related to later cognitive abilities (i.e., memory, language, and intelligence). This study provides the first systematic longitudinal analysis of infant attention and early childhood executive function (EF; e.g., working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility). A group of 5-month-olds (n = 201) were classified as short or long lookers. At 24, 36, and 48 months of age, children completed age-appropriate EF tasks. Infant short lookers (i.e., more efficient information processors) exhibited higher EF throughout early childhood as compared to infant long lookers, even after controlling for verbal ability (a potential indicator of intelligence). These findings are discussed in relation to the emergence of executive attention.