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A longitudinal sample of 226 infants were tested monthly on habituation and novelty preference tasks, augmented with simultaneous heart rate recording from 3 to 9 months of age. Infants were then administered the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID) and MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory (MCDI) at 12, 18, and 24 months. Prior findings regarding the decline in look duration with age were replicated. Age-based factors were extracted from the monthly assessments, an early attention factor from 3 to 6 months and a late attention factor from 7 to 9 months. A novelty preference factor, which grouped recognition performance at 4 and 6 months of age, was also derived. The late attention factor correlated negatively with a factor score derived from the BSID mental index, and the novelty preference aggregate was correlated positively with a factor score derived from the MCDI production scores. Two clusters of infants were derived based on the developmental course of change from the early attention to late attention look duration aggregates: One cluster (n= 150) decreased strongly, and another (n= 50) increased. Infants belonging to these clusters subsequently differed on both the BSID and MCDI outcomes, with the former cluster showing distinct advantages that increased as the outcome assessments progressed from 12 to 24 months of age. This finding was bolstered by subsequent analyses of data from infants who completed all tests run from 3 to 9 months. The results of this study suggest that the developmental course of attention during infancy is an important clue to cognitive and language outcomes in early childhood.