Developmental Science

Cover image for Vol. 15 Issue 4

July 2012

Volume 15, Issue 4

Pages i–ii, 463–600


    1. Top of page
    3. PAPERS
    1. You have free access to this content
      Issue Information (pages i–ii)

      Version of Record online: 18 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01111.x


    1. Top of page
    3. PAPERS
    1. Rapid recognition at 10 months as a predictor of language development (pages 463–473)

      Caroline Junge, Valesca Kooijman, Peter Hagoort and Anne Cutler

      Version of Record online: 29 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.1144.x

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      Infants’ ability to recognize words in continuous speech is vital for building a vocabulary.We here examined the amount and type of exposure needed for 10-month-olds to recognize words. Infants first heard a word, either embedded within an utterance or in isolation, then recognition was assessed by comparing event-related potentials to this word versus a word that they had not heard directly before. Although all 10-month-olds showed recognition responses to words first heard in isolation, not all infants showed such responses to words they had first heard within an utterance.

    2. Sparing of sensitivity to biological motion but not of global motion after early visual deprivation (pages 474–481)

      Bat-Sheva Hadad, Daphne Maurer and Terri L. Lewis

      Version of Record online: 18 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01145.x

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      Patients deprived of visual experience during infancy by dense bilateral congenital cataracts later show marked deficits in the perception of global motion (dorsal visual stream) and global form (ventral visual stream). We expected that they would also show marked deficits in sensitivity to biological motion, which is normally processed in the superior temporal sulcus via input from both the dorsal and ventral streams. When tested on the same day for sensitivity to biological motion and to global motion at two speeds (4 and 18_ s)1), patients, as expected, displayed a large deficit in processing global motion at both speeds.

    3. Infant word segmentation and childhood vocabulary development: a longitudinal analysis (pages 482–495)

      Leher Singh, J. Steven Reznick and Liang Xuehua

      Version of Record online: 23 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01141.x

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      Infants begin to segment novel words from speech by 7.5 months, demonstrating an ability to track, encode and retrieve words in the context of larger units. Although it is presumed that word recognition at this stage is a prerequisite to constructing a vocabulary, the continuity between these stages of development has not yet been empirically demonstrated. The goal of the present study is to investigate whether infant word segmentation skills are indeed related to later lexical development. Two word segmentation tasks, varying in complexity, were administered in infancy and related to childhood outcome measures.

    4. The best time to acquire new skills: age-related differences in implicit sequence learning across the human lifespan (pages 496–505)

      Karolina Janacsek, József Fiser and Dezso Nemeth

      Version of Record online: 5 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01150.x

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      Implicit skill learning underlies obtaining not only motor, but also cognitive and social skills through the life of an individual. Yet, the ontogenetic changes in humans’ implicit learning abilities have not yet been characterized, and, thus, their role in acquiring new knowledge efficiently during development is unknown. We investigated such learning across the lifespan, between 4 and 85 years of age with an implicit probabilistic sequence learning task, and we found that the difference in implicitly learning high- vs. low-probability events – measured by raw reaction time (RT) – exhibited a rapid decrement around age of 12.

    5. Sleep-dependent consolidation of procedural motor memories in children and adults: the pre-sleep level of performance matters (pages 506–515)

      Ines Wilhelm, Maila Metzkow-Mészàros, Susanne Knapp and Jan Born

      Version of Record online: 5 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01146.x

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      In striking contrast to adults, in children sleep following training a motor task did not induce the expected (offline) gain in motor skill performance in previous studies. Children normally perform at distinctly lower levels than adults. Moreover, evidence in adults suggests that sleep dependent offline gains in skill essentially depend on the pre-sleep level of performance. Against this background, we asked whether improving children’s performance on a motor sequence learning task by extended training to levels approaching those of adults would enable sleep-associated gains in motor skill in this age group also.

    6. Neural correlates of socioeconomic status in the developing human brain (pages 516–527)

      Kimberly G. Noble, Suzanne M. Houston, Eric Kan and Elizabeth R. Sowell

      Version of Record online: 29 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01147.x

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      Socioeconomic disparities in childhood are associated with remarkable differences in cognitive and socio-emotional development during a time when dramatic changes are occurring in the brain. Yet, the neurobiological pathways through which socioeconomic status (SES) shapes development remain poorly understood. Behavioral evidence suggests that language, memory, socialemotional processing, and cognitive control exhibit relatively large differences across SES. Here we investigated whether volumetric differences could be observed across SES in several neural regions that support these skills.

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      Development of visual working memory precision in childhood (pages 528–539)

      Stephanie Burnett Heyes, Nahid Zokaei, Irene van der Staaij, Paul M. Bays and Masud Husain

      Version of Record online: 21 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01148.x

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      Visual working memory (VWM) is the facility to hold in mind visual information for brief periods of time. Developmental studies have suggested an increase during childhood in the maximum number of complete items that can simultaneously be stored in VWM. Here, we exploit a recent theoretical and empirical innovation to investigate instead the precision with which items are stored in VWM, where precision is a continuous measure reflecting VWM resolution. Ninety boys aged 7 to 13 years completed one-item and three-item VWM tasks in which stimuli were coloured bars varying in orientation.

    8. Lifespan differences in nonlinear dynamics during rest and auditory oddball performance (pages 540–556)

      Viktor Müller and Ulman Lindenberger

      Version of Record online: 18 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01153.x

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      Electroencephalographic recordings (EEG) were used to assess age-associated differences in nonlinear brain dynamics during both rest and auditory oddball performance in children aged 9.0–12.8 years, younger adults, and older adults. We computed nonlinear coupling dynamics and dimensional complexity, and also determined spectral alpha power as an indicator of cortical reactivity. During rest, both nonlinear coupling and spectral alpha power decreased with age, whereas dimensional complexity increased. In contrast, when attending to the deviant stimulus, nonlinear coupling increased with age, and complexity decreased.

    9. Monkey lipsmacking develops like the human speech rhythm (pages 557–568)

      Ryan J. Morrill, Annika Paukner, Pier F. Ferrari and Asif A. Ghazanfar

      Version of Record online: 18 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01149.x

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      Across all languages studied to date, audiovisual speech exhibits a consistent rhythmic structure. This rhythm is critical to speech perception. Some have suggested that the speech rhythm evolved de novo in humans. An alternative account – the one we explored here – is that the rhythm of speech evolved through the modification of rhythmic facial expressions. We tested this idea by investigating the structure and development of macaque monkey lipsmacks and found that their developmental trajectory is strikingly similar to the one that leads from human infant babbling to adult speech.

    10. The role of children’s negative attributions on depressive symptoms: an inherited characteristic or a product of the early environment? (pages 569–578)

      Jennifer Y.F. Lau, Stefano D. Belli, Alice M. Gregory, Maria Napolitano and Thalia C. Eley

      Version of Record online: 18 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01152.x

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      Negative attributional style has been associated with depressive symptoms in children. Yet, it is unclear whether these cognitive biases reflect inherited characteristics of the broader depressive phenotype or are a product of children’s environments. While existing data in adolescents show that negative attributions reflect a genetic predisposition, elevating depressive responses to stress, other data suggest that negative attributions in children are more likely to reflect early environmental experiences on symptoms. Here, we assess the degree to which negative attributional style and depressive symptoms arise from common genetic, shared and non-shared environmental influences in childhood.

    11. Bayesian face recognition and perceptual narrowing in face-space (pages 579–588)

      Benjamin Balas

      Version of Record online: 18 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01154.x

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      During the first year of life, infants’ face recognition abilities are subject to ‘perceptual narrowing’, the end result of which is that observers lose the ability to distinguish previously discriminable faces (e.g. other-race faces) from one another. Perceptual narrowing has been reported for faces of different species and different races, in developing humans and primates. Though the phenomenon is highly robust and replicable, there have been few efforts to model the emergence of perceptual narrowing as a function of the accumulation of experience with faces during infancy.

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      Connecting neural coding to number cognition: a computational account (pages 589–600)

      Richard W. Prather

      Version of Record online: 18 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01156.x

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      The current study presents a series of computational simulations that demonstrate how the neural coding of numerical magnitude may influence number cognition and development. This includes behavioral phenomena cataloged in cognitive literature such as the development of numerical estimation and operational momentum. Though neural research has begun to describe neural coding of number, it is unclear how specific characteristics of the neural coding may relate to the expansive list of behavioral phenomena in the development of number cognition.