Developmental Science

Cover image for Vol. 17 Issue 3

May 2014

Volume 17, Issue 3

Pages i–ii, 321–480

  1. Issue Information

    1. Top of page
    2. Issue Information
    3. PAPERS
    4. SHORT REPORT
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    8. SHORT REPORTS
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      Issue Information (pages i–ii)

      Article first published online: 21 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12118

  2. PAPERS

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    1. Rich analysis and rational models: inferring individual behavior from infant looking data (pages 321–337)

      Steven T. Piantadosi, Celeste Kidd and Richard Aslin

      Article first published online: 7 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12083

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      Studies of infant looking times over the past 50 years have provided profound insights about cognitive development, but their dependent measures and analytic techniques are quite limited. In the context of infants' attention to discrete sequential events, we show how a Bayesian data analysis approach can be combined with a rational cognitive model to create a rich data analysis framework for infant looking times. We formalize (i) a statistical learning model, (ii) a parametric linking between the learning model's beliefs and infants' looking behavior, and (iii) a data analysis approach and model that infers parameters of the cognitive model and linking function for groups and individuals.

    2. Some views are better than others: evidence for a visual bias in object views self-generated by toddlers (pages 338–351)

      Karin H. James, Susan S. Jones, Shelley Swain, Alfredo Pereira and Linda B. Smith

      Article first published online: 11 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12124

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      How objects are held determines how they are seen, and may thereby play an important developmental role in building visual object representations. Previous research suggests that toddlers, like adults, show themselves a disproportionate number of planar object views – that is, views in which the objects' axes of elongation are perpendicular or parallel to the line of sight. Here, three experiments address three explanations of this bias: (1) that the locations of interesting features of objects determine how they are held and thus how they are viewed; (2) that ease of holding determines object views; and (3) that there is a visual bias for planar views that exists independently of holding and of interesting surface properties.

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      Sequence-specific procedural learning deficits in children with specific language impairment (pages 352–365)

      Hsinjen Julie Hsu and Dorothy V.M. Bishop

      Article first published online: 11 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12125

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      This study tested the procedural deficit hypothesis of specific language impairment (SLI) by comparing children's performance in two motor procedural learning tasks and an implicit verbal sequence learning task. Participants were 7- to 11-year-old children with SLI (n = 48), typically developing age-matched children (n = 20) and younger typically developing children matched for receptive grammar (n = 28). In a serial reaction time task, the children with SLI performed at the same level as the grammar-matched children, but poorer than age-matched controls in learning motor sequences. When tested with a motor procedural learning task that did not involve learning sequential relationships between discrete elements (i.e. pursuit rotor), the children with SLI performed comparably with age-matched children and better than younger grammar-matched controls.

  3. SHORT REPORT

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    1. Young-age gender differences in mathematics mediated by independent control or uncontrollability (pages 366–375)

      Jan Zirk-Sadowski, Charlotte Lamptey, Amy Devine, Mark Haggard and Dénes Szűcs

      Article first published online: 11 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12126

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      We studied whether the origins of math anxiety can be related to a biologically supported framework of stress induction: (un)controllability perception, here indicated by self-reported independent efforts in mathematics. Math anxiety was tested in 182 children (8- to 11-year-olds). Latent factor modeling was used to test hypotheses on plausible causal hierarchy and mediations within competing models in quasi-experimental contrasts.

  4. PAPER

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    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      When vision is not an option: children's integration of auditory and haptic information is suboptimal (pages 376–387)

      Karin Petrini, Alicia Remark, Louise Smith and Marko Nardini

      Article first published online: 25 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12127

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      When visual information is available, human adults, but not children, have been shown to reduce sensory uncertainty by taking a weighted average of sensory cues. In the absence of reliable visual information (e.g. extremely dark environment, visual disorders), the use of other information is vital. Here we ask how humans combine haptic and auditory information from childhood.

  5. SHORT REPORT

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    1. Crawling and walking infants elicit different verbal responses from mothers (pages 388–395)

      Lana B. Karasik, Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda and Karen E. Adolph

      Article first published online: 7 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12129

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      We examined mothers' verbal responses to their crawling or walking infants' object sharing (i.e. bids). Mothers of walkers responded with action directives more often than mothers of crawlers. Notably, differences in the responses of mothers of walkers versus those of crawlers were explained by differences in bid form between the two groups of infants. Walkers were more likely to engage in moving bids than crawlers, who typically shared objects from stationary positions. When crawlers displayed moving bids, their mothers offered action directives just as often as did mothers of walkers.

  6. PAPERS

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    1. Contributions of COMT Val158Met to cognitive stability and flexibility in infancy (pages 396–411)

      Julie Markant, Dante Cicchetti, Susan Hetzel and Kathleen M. Thomas

      Article first published online: 11 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12128

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      Adaptive behavior requires focusing on relevant tasks (i.e., cognitive stability) while remaining sensitive to novel information (i.e., cognitive flexibility). Previous adult research has shown that the Met allele of the COMT Val158Met gene is associated with enhanced cognitive stability whereas the Val allele is associated with enhanced cognitive flexibility. The present results suggest that COMT genotype may be similarly related to early indices of cognitive stability and flexibility at 7 months of age.

    2. Shared understanding and idiosyncratic expression in early vocabularies (pages 412–423)

      Julien Mayor and Kim Plunkett

      Article first published online: 11 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12130

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      To what extent do toddlers have shared vocabularies? We examined CDI data collected from 14,607 infants and toddlers in five countries and measured the amount of variability between individual lexicons during development for both comprehension and production. Early lexicons are highly overlapping. However, beyond 100 words, toddlers share more words with other toddlers in comprehension than in production, even when matched for lexicon sizes. This finding points to a structural difference in early comprehension and production: Toddlers are generalists in comprehension but develop a unique, expressive voice. Variability in production decreases after two years of age, suggesting convergence to a common expressive core vocabulary. We discuss potential exogenous and endogenous contributions to the inverted U-shaped development observed in young children's expressive lexical variability.

  7. SHORT REPORTS

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    1. A matter of time: rapid motor memory stabilization in childhood (pages 424–433)

      Esther Adi-Japha, Rodayna Badir, Shoshi Dorfberger and Avi Karni

      Article first published online: 13 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12132

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      Are children better than adults in acquiring new skills (‘how-to’ knowledge) because of a difference in skill memory consolidation? Here we tested the proposal that, as opposed to adults, children's memories for newly acquired skills are immune to interference by subsequent experience. In children, but not in adults, an interval of 15 min. between the training session and interfering experience sufficed to ensure the expression of delayed, consolidation phase, gains. In adults these gains remain susceptible to interference by the subsequent competing experience for several hours after training.

    2. Arithmetic facts storage deficit: the hypersensitivity-to-interference in memory hypothesis (pages 434–442)

      Alice De Visscher and Marie-Pascale Noël

      Article first published online: 11 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12135

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      Dyscalculia, or mathematics learning disorders, is currently known to be heterogeneous (Wilson & Dehaene, ). While various profiles of dyscalculia coexist, a general and persistent hallmark of this math learning disability is the difficulty in memorizing arithmetic facts (Geary, Hoard & Hamson, ; Jordan & Montani, ; Slade & Russel, ). Arithmetic facts are simple arithmetic problems that are solved by direct retrieval from memory. In this paper, we test the recent hypothesis arising from a case study (De Visscher & Noël, 2013), according to which hypersensitivity-to-interference in memory hampers the storage of arithmetic facts.

  8. PAPERS

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    1. In the absence of conflicting testimony young children trust inaccurate informants (pages 443–451)

      Kimberly E. Vanderbilt, Gail D. Heyman and David Liu

      Article first published online: 20 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12134

      The present research investigated the nature of the inferences and decisions young children make about informants with a prior history of inaccuracies. Across three experiments, 3- and 4-year-olds (total N = 182) reacted to previously inaccurate informants who offered testimony in an object-labeling task. Of central interest was children's willingness to accept information provided by an inaccurate informant in different contexts of being alone, paired with an accurate informant, or paired with a novel (neutral) informant.

    2. Breastfeeding and trajectories of children's cognitive development (pages 452–461)

      Jin Huang, Kristen E. Peters, Michael G. Vaughn and Christopher Witko

      Article first published online: 11 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12136

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      The aim of this study was to examine the association of breastfeeding practices with the growth trajectories of children's cognitive development. We used data from the Child Development Supplement (CDS) of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) with variables on presence and duration of breastfeeding and standardized test scores obtained during three different panel waves (N = 2681). After adjusting for covariates we found that breastfed children had higher test scores but that breastfed and non-breastfed children had similar growth trajectories in test scores over time.

  9. SHORT REPORT

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    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Why do spatial abilities predict mathematical performance? (pages 462–470)

      Maria Grazia Tosto, Ken B. Hanscombe, Claire M.A. Haworth, Oliver S.P. Davis, Stephen A. Petrill, Philip S. Dale, Sergey Malykh, Robert Plomin and Yulia Kovas

      Article first published online: 11 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12138

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      Spatial ability predicts performance in mathematics and eventual expertise in science, technology and engineering. Spatial skills have been shown to rely on neuronal networks partially shared with mathematics. The results of this study suggest that ∼60% of the observed covariation between the two traits is due to common genetic factors, the environmental contribution is ∼40%. Understanding the nature of this association and identifying environmental mediators of the spatial-mathematics relationship can inform educational practices and intervention for mathematical underperformance.

  10. PAPER

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      Precursors to aggression are evident by 6 months of age (pages 471–480)

      Dale F. Hay, Cerith S. Waters, Oliver Perra, Naomi Swift, Victoria Kairis, Rebecca Phillips, Roland Jones, Ian Goodyer, Gordon Harold, Anita Thapar and Stephanie van Goozen

      Article first published online: 25 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12133

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      Developmental precursors to aggression are apparent in infancy. Up to three informants rated 301 firstborn infants for early signs of anger and physical force; 279 (93%) were assessed again as toddlers, as depicted in the figure. Informants' ratings were validated by direct observation of peer interaction. The precursor behaviours were significantly associated with known risk factors for aggressiveness and significantly predicted later aggressive behavioural problems.

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