Developmental Science

Cover image for Vol. 18 Issue 4

July 2015

Volume 18, Issue 4

Pages i–ii, 511–670


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

      Article first published online: 31 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12255


    1. Top of page
    3. PAPERS
    1. The development of adaptive conformity in young children: effects of uncertainty and consensus (pages 511–524)

      Thomas J.H. Morgan, Kevin N. Laland and Paul L. Harris

      Article first published online: 5 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12231

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We investigated reliance on social information, contingent on task difficulty and the consensus amongst informants, in children aged 3–7 using the “who-has-more” task. Whilst all children were sensitive to unanimity, older children were also sensitive to intermediate majorities (e.g., 8v2 informants). Children were relatively insensitive to task difficulty and older children tended to stick with their own decisions. Despite this, only the older children were able to use the social information to improve their accuracy..

    2. Relation of perinatal risk and early parenting to executive control at the transition to school (pages 525–542)

      Caron A.C. Clark and Lianne J. Woodward

      Article first published online: 6 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12232

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The relation of very preterm birth and early parenting to EC at age 6 was tested. VPT, higher parent intrusiveness and lower parent-child synchrony predicted lower EC, which in turn correlated with academic achievement at age 9 years.

    3. The intergenerational transmission of ethnic essentialism: how parents talk counts the most (pages 543–555)

      Gili Segall, Dana Birnbaum, Inas Deeb and Gil Diesendruck

      Article first published online: 11 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12235

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The development of Israeli children's essentialist beliefs about ethnicity is most strongly related not to their parents' own beliefs, political ideology, or explicit endorsement of ethnic stereotypes. Rather, it is related to the extent to which their parents' label and make generic statements about ethnicity.

    4. Ensemble perception of size in 4–5-year-old children (pages 556–568)

      Timothy D. Sweeny, Nicole Wurnitsch, Alison Gopnik and David Whitney

      Article first published online: 28 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12239

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      How might children grasp the gist of a visual scene? We found that, even at 4-5 years-of-age, children engage a visual mechanism known as ensemble coding to summarize and perceive the average size of a group of objects.

    5. Switching from reaching to navigation: differential cognitive strategies for spatial memory in children and adults (pages 569–586)

      Vittorio Belmonti, Giovanni Cioni and Alain Berthoz

      Article first published online: 28 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12240

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The Magic Carpet (top-right) is a novel test for locomotor navigation, derived from the traditional Corsi Block-tapping Task (top-left). Spatial sequences of identical shape are retrieved differently in navigational from reaching space. The analysis of errors on the two tests reveals that school-age children, unlike adults, are unable to spontaneously select specific memory strategies for navigational space (bottom).

    6. Call me Alix, not Elix: vowels are more important than consonants in own-name recognition at 5 months (pages 587–598)

      Camillia Bouchon, Caroline Floccia, Thibaut Fux, Martine Adda-Decker and Thierry Nazzi

      Article first published online: 7 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12242

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      It has been proposed that consonants and vowels have different functional roles in language processing and, in particular, that consonants are more important in distinguishing words in the lexicon (Nespor, Peña & Mehler, 2003). Many studies on French provide convrgent support for this proposal in adulthood and toddlerhood (Havy & Nazzi, 2009; Nazzi, 2005; New et al., 2014). We investigated the relative importance of consonants and vowels at the onset of lexical acquisition in French-learning 5-month-old infants. Reactions to mispronunciation in their own name were compared whether the change was consonantal (e.g. Victor/Zictor, n = 30) or vocalic (e.g. Alix/Elix, n = 30). Behavioral results indicated sensitivity to vowel changes, and not to consonant changes. Detailed acoustic analyses of THE stimuli revealed that vowels were more salient but spectrally less distinct than consonants. Lastly, vowel (but not consonant) mispronunciation detection was modulated by acoustic factors, in particular by the spectrally-based distance. This shows that the consonant bias for lexical processing observed later in development does not emerge until after 5 months of age through additional language exposure.

    7. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The development of route learning in Down syndrome, Williams syndrome and typical development: investigations with virtual environments (pages 599–613)

      Harry R.M. Purser, Emily K. Farran, Yannick Courbois, Axelle Lemahieu, Pascal Sockeel, Daniel Mellier and Mark Blades

      Article first published online: 5 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12236

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Individuals with Williams syndrome performed better than a matched subset of typically developing children on more difficult routes. Measures of attention and long-term memory were strongly associated with route learning. All of the groups, including 5- to 6-year-old typically developing children, demonstrated the ability to make use of various landmark types to aid route learning, including distant landmarks.

    8. Imitation promotes affiliation in infant macaques at risk for impaired social behaviors (pages 614–621)

      Valentina Sclafani, Annika Paukner, Stephen J. Suomi and Pier F. Ferrari

      Article first published online: 16 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12237

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We tested the effect of imitation on a population of nursery-reared infant macaques. Being imitated promotes affiliative behaviors in newborn monkeys.

    9. A model to investigate the mechanisms underlying the emergence and development of independent sitting (pages 622–634)

      Kathleen M. O'Brien, Jing Zhang, Philip R. Walley, Jeffrey F. Rhoads, Jeffrey M. Haddad and Laura J. Claxton

      Article first published online: 28 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12238

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We developed a single-degree-of-freedom inverted pendulum model to examine the mechanisms underlying the emergence and maturation of infant sitting. Our simulations suggest that newly sitting infants rely on passive muscle properties (e.g. muscle tone) to remain upright. However, with maturation infants begin to utilize adaptive feedback driven processes.


    1. Top of page
    3. PAPERS
    1. Musical rhythm discrimination explains individual differences in grammar skills in children (pages 635–644)

      Reyna L. Gordon, Carolyn M. Shivers, Elizabeth A. Wieland, Sonja A. Kotz, Paul J. Yoder and J. Devin McAuley

      Article first published online: 7 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12230

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Rhythm and grammar skills were tested in typically developing 6-year-old children. A robust correlation was found between musical rhythm perception and grammar production.

    2. Pedagogical cues encourage toddlers' transmission of recently demonstrated functions to unfamiliar adults (pages 645–654)

      Christopher Vredenburgh, Tamar Kushnir and Marianella Casasola

      Article first published online: 5 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12233

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We show that two-year-olds selectively enact, in a new social situation, causal functions which have been demonstrated pedagogically, even when they have learned and can produce alternate functions as well. The results have implications for how children learn conventional object functions in ambiguous contexts, as well as suggest a way which children might naturally participate in cultural transmission.

    3. Individuation training with other-race faces reduces preschoolers’ implicit racial bias: a link between perceptual and social representation of faces in children (pages 655–663)

      Wen S. Xiao, Genyue Fu, Paul C. Quinn, Jinliang Qin, James W. Tanaka, Olivier Pascalis and Kang Lee

      Article first published online: 5 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12241

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Chinese kindergarten children are initially biased to categorize racially ambiguous faces: They categorize such faces as other-race “African” when the faces display an angry expression but the same faces as own-race “Chinese” when the faces display a happy expression. However, after learning to individuate African faces, the implicit racial bias disappears. Thus, perceptual learning of individual other-race faces can serve as an effective method to reduce implicit racial bias in young children.

    4. Mechanisms underlying accent accommodation in early word learning: evidence for general expansion (pages 664–670)

      Rachel Schmale, Amanda Seidl and Alejandrina Cristia

      Article first published online: 28 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12244

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We exposed a group of 24-month-old English-learning toddlers to variability in indexical cues (very diverse voices from native English talkers), and another to variability in social cues (very diverse-looking silent actors); neither group was familiarized with the target novel accent. At test, both groups succeeded in recognizing a novel word when spoken in the novel accent. Thus, even when no lexical cues are available, variability can prepare young children for non-standard pronunciations.