Developmental Science

Cover image for Vol. 17 Issue 5

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Edited By: Charles A. Nelson, Michelle de Haan, and Paul C. Quinn

Impact Factor: 4.278

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 5/65 (Psychology Developmental); 6/83 (Psychology Experimental)

Online ISSN: 1467-7687


  1. 1 - 72
  1. Papers

    1. Call me Alix, not Elix: vowels are more important than consonants in own-name recognition at 5 months

      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.

    2. Relation of perinatal risk and early parenting to executive control at the transition to school

      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.

  2. Short Reports

    1. Individuation training with other-race faces reduces preschoolers’ implicit racial bias: a link between perceptual and social representation of faces in children

      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.

    2. Pedagogical cues encourage toddlers' transmission of recently demonstrated functions to unfamiliar adults

      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. Papers

    1. Preschoolers with Down syndrome do not yet show the learning and memory impairments seen in adults with Down syndrome

      Lynette V. Roberts and Jenny L. Richmond

      Article first published online: 5 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12225

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Adults with Down syndrome (DS) exhibit specific deficits in learning and memory processes that depend on the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, however it is largely unclear how these processes develop in young children with DS. We tested preschoolers with DS on these areas, and as shown in the figure, they performed equivalently to mental-age matched controls. This finding suggests that the additional disability-specific learning and memory deficits seen in adulthood, are not yet evident in pre-schoolers with DS and likely emerge progressively with age.

    2. The development of adaptive conformity in young children: effects of uncertainty and consensus

      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..

    3. The development of route learning in Down syndrome, Williams syndrome and typical development: investigations with virtual environments

      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.

    4. Imitation promotes affiliation in infant macaques at risk for impaired social behaviors

      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.

  4. Short Reports

    1. Whose idea is it anyway? The importance of reputation in acknowledgement

      Alex Shaw and Kristina Olson

      Article first published online: 16 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12234

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We find that children dislike plagiarism because it harms an other's reputation. They think it is wrong for one to falsely take credit for others' good ideas, but not bad to help other people's reputation by falsely giving them credit for one's own good idea.

  5. Papers

    1. The intergenerational transmission of ethnic essentialism: how parents talk counts the most

      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.

    2. Implications of ongoing neural development for the measurement of the error-related negativity in childhood

      David DuPuis, Nilam Ram, Cynthia J. Willner, Sarah Karalunas, Sidney J. Segalowitz and Lisa M. Gatzke-Kopp

      Article first published online: 11 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12229

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      This study examined error-related negativity (ERN) in a sample of 234 children assessed at 3 timepoints: kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. At each timepoint, ERN was examined as the average amplitude across trials, as well as decomposed into components reflecting signal strength (theta power) and the temporal consistency (signal phase coherence) across trials, both of which contributed independently to the average amplitude measure. Across the 3 timepoints, increases in trial-to-trial temporal consistency resulted in increases in average ERN amplitude despite a significant decline in average signal strength across the same developmental period.

  6. Short Reports

    1. Musical rhythm discrimination explains individual differences in grammar skills in children

      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.

  7. Original Articles

    1. The impact of culture on physiological processes of emotion regulation: a comparison of US and Chinese preschoolers

      Adam S. Grabell, Sheryl L. Olson, Alison L. Miller, Daniel A. Kessler, Barbara Felt, Niko Kaciroti, Li Wang and Twila Tardif

      Article first published online: 31 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12227

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We compared associations between specific effortful control subcomponents and stress-induced cortisol trajectories in preschool children residing in the U.S. and China. U.S. preschoolers showed an expected negative association between maternal-rated inhibitory control with cortisol reactivity and recovery. In contrast, Chinese preschoolers showed a positive association between maternal-rated attentional focusing and cortisol reactivity.

  8. Papers

    1. Individual differences in the shape bias in preschool children with specific language impairment and typical language development: theoretical and clinical implications

      Beverly Anne Collisson, Bernard Grela, Tammie Spaulding, Jay G. Rueckl and James S. Magnuson

      Article first published online: 27 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12219

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      In a classic shape-bias paradigm, three and four-year-old children with typical language (TL) or Specific Language Impairment (SLI) saw an example object and then chose another from a set of three in Similarity Classification (‘See this? Which one goes with this one?’) and Novel Name Extension (‘See this? This is a [dax]', Find another [dax]') conditions. Children with TL replicated the classic pattern (random choices in Similarity Classification, large bias for shape in Name Extension), but those with SLI showed no apparent difference. This suggests that children with SLI fail to detect coherent covariation between linguistic and nonlinguistic properties that accelerates object name learning among their peers with TL. In a paired visual association task, children with TL showed significant learning over 4 days, but children with SLI did not. Performance in this task predicted individuals' shape bias better than any assessment, suggesting impairments of nonlinguistic learning abilities contributes to linguistic difficulties in SLI.

    2. The development of race-based perceptual categorization: skin color dominates early category judgments

      Yarrow Dunham, Elena V. Stepanova, Ron Dotsch and Alexander Todorov

      Article first published online: 25 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12228

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      What perceptual features do children use to categorize by race? Past research has suggested that adult-like abilities to racially classify emerge quite early in development. Our findings suggest this is not the case; younger children rely almost entirely on skin color, with little or no attention to other aspects of facial physiognomy.

    3. Longitudinal study of perception of structured optic flow and random visual motion in infants using high-density EEG

      Seth B. Agyei, Magnus Holth, F.R. (Ruud) van der Weel and Audrey L.H. van der Meer

      Article first published online: 21 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12221

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Infants greatly rely on the visual information that specifies self-motion as they increasingly become mobile during the first year of life. By using high-density EEG, the paper provides evidence for the perceptual development and processing of such visual motion information, where crawling infants' visual motion perception is clearly aided by the structured information from optic flow as opposed to random motion.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Baby steps: investigating the development of perceptual–motor couplings in infancy

      Carina C.J.M. de Klerk, Mark H. Johnson, Cecilia M. Heyes and Victoria Southgate

      Article first published online: 13 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12226

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Two decades after the discovery of mirror neurons, the mechanisms underlying their ontogeny remain relatively unknown. It has been suggested that these perceptual-motor couplings in the brain develop through associative learning during correlated sensorimotor experience. We tested this hypothesis by manipulating pre-walking infants’ opportunity to associate the visual and motor representation of novel stepping actions that they performed on an infant treadmill. We then investigated how this influenced their sensorimotor cortex activation when they observed videos of other infants’ stepping actions. Our results show that the strength of the visuomotor contingency experienced during training predicted the amount of sensorimotor cortex activation during action observation.

    5. Brain hyper-connectivity and operation-specific deficits during arithmetic problem solving in children with developmental dyscalculia

      Miriam Rosenberg-Lee, Sarit Ashkenazi, Tianwen Chen, Christina B. Young, David C. Geary and Vinod Menon

      Article first published online: 6 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12216

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We examined brain responses and connectivity during addition and subtraction problem solving in typically developing children and children with developmental dyscalculia (DD). Contrary to expectations of reduced activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) for children with DD, we found hyper-activity specifically for subtraction problems. Effective connectivity analyses revealed hyper-connectivity, rather than reduced connectivity, between the IPS and lateral fronto-parietal and default mode networks in children with DD during both tasks. These findings suggest the IPS and its circuits are a major locus of dysfunction during arithmetic problem solving in DD, and that inappropriate task modulation and hyper-connectivity, rather than under-engagement, are the neural mechanisms underlying dyscalculia.

    6. Institutional care and iron deficiency increase ADHD symptomology and lower IQ 2.5–5 years post-adoption

      Jenalee R. Doom, Michael K. Georgieff and Megan R. Gunnar

      Article first published online: 28 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12223

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Iron deficiency at adoption and longer duration of institutional care increase ADHD symptoms 2.5-5 years post-adoption. Iron deficiency at adoption, but not duration of institutional care, predicts IQ.

    7. Error-monitoring in response to social stimuli in individuals with higher-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

      Camilla M. McMahon and Heather A. Henderson

      Article first published online: 28 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12220

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      When identifying the gender of a face, participants with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) had a smaller ERNdiff (difference in Error-Related Negativity amplitude between correct and incorrect responses) than participants with typical development. However, when identifying the affect of a face, participants with and without ASD did not differ on ERNdiff.

  9. Short Reports

    1. Children use salience to solve coordination problems

      Sebastian Grueneisen, Emily Wyman and Michael Tomasello

      Article first published online: 25 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12224

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Dyads were presented with a task where two balls had to be inserted into the same of four boxes. When children got a ball each and had to coordinate their choices without communication (experimental condition) they were more likely to choose the most salient box than when they could choose independently (control condition).

    2. Children and adults both see ‘pirates’ in ‘parties’: letter-position effects for developing readers and skilled adult readers

      Kevin B. Paterson, Josephine Read, Victoria A. McGowan and Timothy R. Jordan

      Article first published online: 23 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12222

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Recognition of anagrams (e.g. pirates, parties) provides insight into the use of letter position during word recognition. We used this approach to compare the use of letter position by developing child readers ( 8–10 years) and skilled adult readers in a naming task. Both groups showed similarly slowed response times (and developing readers increased errors) for anagrams which formed another word when letters in interior positions were transposed and no interference for anagrams that required exterior letter transpositions. The findings suggest that end-state skilled use of letter position, especially the influence of exterior letter positions, is established earlier during reading development than is widely assumed.

  10. Papers

    1. Continuity and change in children's longitudinal neural responses to numbers

      Robert W. Emerson and Jessica F. Cantlon

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12215

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Children's neural responses during numerical discrimination show different longitudinal profiles in the right versus left intraparietal sulcus (IPS). The right IPS shows correlated number-related neural responses over development. The left IPS shows developmental changes in number-related neural responses that correlate with children's numerical acuity.

  11. Short Reports

    1. Perceived trustworthiness of faces drives trust behaviour in children

      Louise Ewing, Frances Caulfield, Ainsley Read and Gillian Rhodes

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12218

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      This study uses an economic trust game to investigate the development of human trust behaviour. We reveal that facial trustworthiness cues influence trust behaviour in children as young as 5 years, with adult-like effects observed by 10 years.

  12. Papers

    1. Fearful faces drive gaze-cueing and threat bias effects in children on the lookout for danger

      Amy Dawel, Romina Palermo, Richard O'Kearney, Jessica Irons and Elinor McKone

      Article first published online: 18 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12203

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We measured gaze-cueing (RTinvalid-direction-trials minus RTvalid-direction-trials) and threat-bias effects from fearful (pictured) and happy faces in a context that required vigilance for danger (decide if a target animal is safe or dangerous; dangerous spider pictured). The ability to prioritize fearful-gaze in the danger-vigilance context emerged over the 8–12-year-old age range. Children also showed an adult-like threat bias for dangerous over safe animals specifically in the context of fearful faces. Overall, our results present some of the first evidence of context-expression interactions in children, and argue that studies of isolated face or threat stimuli may not apply to real-world behavior, in which contextual factors abound.

    2. Numerical representations and intuitions of probabilities at 12 months

      Ernő Téglás, Alexandra Ibanez-Lillo, Albert Costa and Luca L. Bonatti

      Article first published online: 17 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12196

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Recent research shows that the preverbal infants can reason about single event probabilities without relying on observed frequencies and are able to adjust their expectations in accordance to some relevant aspects of a situation. Here we investigate the limits and sophistications of these abilities. We show that infants at 12 months can exploit very specific physical parameters of dynamically unfolding events, such as the density of objects in a display, even if they have to deal with a large set of moving items. However, they may not be able to integrate numerical information about large classes of objects in their probabilistic expectations. Yet, they can to compute probabilities when the set size is within the limit of object tracking abilities. We suggest that infants' intuitions of probabilities may derive from their ability to represent possible states of affairs.

    3. Effects of early institutionalization on the development of emotion processing: a case for relative sparing?

      Margaret C. Moulson, Kristin Shutts, Nathan A. Fox, Charles H. Zeanah, Elizabeth S. Spelke and Charles A. Nelson

      Article first published online: 17 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12217

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We examined emotion processing in three groups of Romanian children with diverse rearing histories. Although children who were institutionalized showed some deficits on tasks of emotion recognition compared to children raised in their biological families, their overall performance was surprisingly good. Previously institutionalized children who had been placed in foster care showed performance comparable to family-reared children. Emotion processing seems relatively spared in the context of early psychosocial deprivation.

  13. Short Reports

    1. Causal learning from probabilistic events in 24-month-olds: an action measure

      Anna Waismeyer, Andrew N. Meltzoff and Alison Gopnik

      Article first published online: 16 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12208

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Using a two-choice action measure, we tested whether 24-month-olds can use observed probabilistic information to solve a causal learning problem in the absence of causal linguistic descriptions or spatial contact. Toddlers first observed an adult produce a probabilistic pattern of causal evidence and were then given an opportunity to design their own intervention. At test, toddlers used the observed probabilistic causal information to generate their own intervention to bring about the same effect on the world.

  14. Papers

    1. The N400 and the fourth grade shift

      Donna Coch

      Article first published online: 16 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12212

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      In a developmental event-related potential study investigating the putative fourth grade shift in reading, the amplitude of the N400 component elicited by various word-like stimuli did not reflect a shift or discontinuity in word processing around the fourth grade. False font strings elicited N400s similar to real words and letter strings in third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders, but not in college students, suggesting a relatively long developmental time course - beyond fifth grade - for orthographic processing in this context.

    2. A new twist on old ideas: how sitting reorients crawlers

      Kasey C. Soska, Scott R. Robinson and Karen E. Adolph

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12205

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      During crawling exploration, infants stopped and reverted to a sitting posture 3–6 times per minute—whether at home or in the lab. Sitting with the legs out (90% of sits) caused infants to face away from their crawling path; returning back to crawling often set infants off in a new direction. Natural crawling occurs in brief episodes accompanied by sharply-angled turns.

    3. Tuning the developing brain to emotional body expressions

      Manuela Missana, Anthony P. Atkinson and Tobias Grossmann

      Article first published online: 11 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12209

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Reading others' emotional body expressions is an essential social skill. Adults are readily able to recognize emotions from body movements. However, it is unclear when in development infants become sensitive to bodily expressed emotions. In this study ERPs were measured in 4-and 8-month-old infants in response to happy and fearful body expressions using point-light displays (PLDs) presented in two orientations, upright and inverted. The ERP results revealed that only 8-month-olds but not 4-month-olds respond sensitively to the orientation and the emotion of the dynamic expressions. These findings suggest that orientation–sensitive and emotion-sensitive brain processes develop between 4 and 8 months of age.

    4. Two-year-old children but not domestic dogs understand communicative intentions without language, gestures, or gaze

      Richard Moore, Bettina Mueller, Juliane Kaminski and Michael Tomasello

      Article first published online: 9 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12206

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      2-year-old children were able to use an experimenter's intentionally pulling on a rope to infer the location of a hidden prize, even though the experimenter did not move or look towards the hiding place. Domestic dogs did not succeed in this task. Children's apparently reduced dependence on bodily expressions of communicative intent may reflect an adaptation for communicating with absent others.

  15. Short Reports

    1. Neonatal imitation predicts how infants engage with faces

      Annika Paukner, Elizabeth A. Simpson, Pier F. Ferrari, Timothy Mrozek and Stephen J. Suomi

      Article first published online: 3 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12207

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We investigated whether neonatal imitation predicts facial viewing patterns in infant rhesus macaques. Following lipsmacking (a core affiliative gesture) and tongue protrusion imitation tests in the first week of life, we presented infants with an animated macaque avatar displaying a still face followed by lipsmacking or tongue protrusion movements when infants were 10-28 days old. Using eye tracking technology, we found that macaque infants generally looked equally at the eyes and mouth during gesture presentation, but only lipsmacking-imitators showed significantly more looking at the eyes of the neutral still face.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Sentence repetition is a measure of children's language skills rather than working memory limitations

      Marianne Klem, Monica Melby-Lervåg, Bente Hagtvet, Solveig-Alma Halaas Lyster, Jan-Eric Gustafsson and Charles Hulme

      Article first published online: 1 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12202

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Sentence repetition tasks are widely used in diagnosis and assessment of children with language impairments, but the underlying abilities measured are poorly understood, and how performance on this test should be interpreted is unclear. By investigating the longitudinal relationship between sentence repetition and other measures of language abilities in children aged 4-6 years, our findings support the view that sentence repetition is best seen as a reflection of an underlying unitary language construct, rather than as a measure of a separate construct with a specific role in language processing.

  16. Papers

    1. Characterizing the information content of a newly hatched chick's first visual object representation

      Justin N. Wood

      Article first published online: 30 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12198

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      This study measured the information content of the first visual object representation built by newly hatched chicks. The results showed that chicks build object representations that contain both object identity information and view-specific information, akin to the object representations built by adult primates. This study indicates that invariant object recognition is a core cognitive ability that can be operational at the onset of visual object experience.

  17. Short Reports

    1. Cross-cultural investigation into cognitive underpinnings of individual differences in early arithmetic

      Maja Rodic, Xinlin Zhou, Tatiana Tikhomirova, Wei Wei, Sergei Malykh, Victoria Ismatulina, Elena Sabirova, Yulia Davidova, Maria Grazia Tosto, Jean-Pascal Lemelin and Yulia Kovas

      Article first published online: 26 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12204

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The present study assessed 626 5-7-year-old children in the UK, China, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan on a cognitive test battery measuring: (1) general skills; (2) non-symbolic number sense; (3) symbolic number understanding; (4) simple arithmetic - operating with numbers; and (5) familiarity with numbers. Although most inter-population differences were small, 13% of the variance in arithmetic skills could be explained by the sample, replicating the pattern, previously found with older children in PISA. Despite average differences, the same cognitive skills were related to early arithmetic in these diverse populations.

  18. Papers

    1. Tracing children's vocabulary development from preschool through the school-age years: an 8-year longitudinal study

      Shuang Song, Mengmeng Su, Cuiping Kang, Hongyun Liu, Yuping Zhang, Catherine McBride-Chang, Twila Tardif, Hong Li, Weilan Liang, Zhixiang Zhang and Hua Shu

      Article first published online: 24 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12190

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      “In this 8-year longitudinal study, we traced the vocabulary growth of Chinese children, explored potential precursors of vocabulary knowledge, and investigated how vocabulary growth predicted future reading skills. Three subgroups of lexical growth were classified, namely high-high (with a large initial vocabulary size and a fast growth rate), low-high (with a small initial vocabulary size and a fast growth rate) and low-low (with a small initial vocabulary size and a slow growth rate) groups. Low-high and low-low groups were distinguishable mostly through phonological skills, morphological skills and other reading-related cognitive skills. Childhood vocabulary development (using intercept and slope) explained subsequent reading skills. Findings suggest that language-related and reading-related cognitive skills differ among groups with different developmental trajectories of vocabulary, and the initial size and growth rate of vocabulary may be two predictors for later reading development.”

  19. Target Article with Commentaries and Response

    1. Staring us in the face? An embodied theory of innate face preference

      Nick Wilkinson, Ali Paikan, Gustaf Gredebäck, Francesco Rea and Giorgio Metta

      Article first published online: 20 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12159

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Human expertise in face perception grows over development, but even within minutes of birth, infants exhibit an extraordinary sensitivity to face-like stimuli. The dominant theory accounts for innate face detection by proposing that the neonate brain contains an innate face detection device, dubbed Conspec. Newborn face preference has been promoted as some of the strongest evidence for innate knowledge, and forms a canonical stage for the modern form of the nature-nurture debate in psychology.

  20. Commentary

    1. Redundant constraints on human face perception?

      Linda B. Smith and Swapnaa Jayaraman

      Article first published online: 19 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12200

    2. Binocular correlation model of face preference: how good, how simple?

      David Méary, Martial Mermillod and Olivier Pascalis

      Article first published online: 19 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12201

  21. Response

    1. How good? Better. How simple? Simpler. And testable to boot

      Nick Wilkinson, Ali Paikan, Gustaf Gredebäck, Francesco Rea and Giorgio Metta

      Article first published online: 19 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12199

  22. Papers

    1. Knowledge cannot explain the developmental growth of working memory capacity

      Nelson Cowan, Timothy J. Ricker, Katherine M. Clark, Garrett A. Hinrichs and Bret A. Glass

      Article first published online: 18 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12197

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The article addresses the question of whether the improvement in working memory capacity across the elementary school years can be explained by the increase in knowledge. The figure shows a score based on mean items in working memory in a recognition test, normalized across all four age groups. These z scores were nearly identical for English letters that embody prior knowledge and for unfamiliar characters, disproving the view that working memory development is based completely on knowledge development. The results exclude a subset of young children who did not remember at least one English letter per trial, showing that knowledge also is important.

  23. Original Articles

    1. Parent support is less effective in buffering cortisol stress reactivity for adolescents compared to children

      Camelia E. Hostinar, Anna E. Johnson and Megan R. Gunnar

      Article first published online: 18 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12195

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Parent support provided in the laboratory during the speech preparation period before a modified Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) successfully eliminated the cortisol stress response to the TSST in 9-10-year-old children, but had no effect on the response among adolescents.

  24. Short Papers

    1. Interpersonal synchrony increases prosocial behavior in infants

      Laura K. Cirelli, Kathleen M. Einarson and Laurel J. Trainor

      Article first published online: 12 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12193

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Infants (14 months of age) who were bounced in synchrony with an experimenter's movements were subsequently more likely to help that person compared to infants who were bounced asynchronously. Infants who were bounced at the same tempo, but in anti-phase with the experimenter, also showed increased helping. This indicates that synchronous, but not necessarily identical, interpersonal movement promotes social bonds and can lead to altruistic behavior early in life.

  25. Papers

    1. Kin rejection: social signals, neural response and perceived distress during social exclusion

      Anirudh Sreekrishnan, Tania A. Herrera, Jia Wu, Jessica L. Borelli, Lars O. White, Helena J.V. Rutherford, Linda C. Mayes and Michael J. Crowley

      Article first published online: 9 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12191

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Kin rejection was examined by looking at neural responses in children and their mothers while playing the computer game Cyberball. Responses, specifically the frontal P2 and slow wave, were selectively greater for rejection by kin than by stranger.

    2. Fathers' versus mothers' social referencing signals in relation to infant anxiety and avoidance: a visual cliff experiment

      Eline L. Möller, Mirjana Majdandžić and Susan M. Bögels

      Article first published online: 9 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12194

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Using a visual cliff paradigm, we studied whether social referencing processes between fathers and their infants differed from mothers and their infants. Eighty-one infants aged 10–15 months were randomly assigned to conduct the visual cliff task with their father (n = 41) or mother (n = 40). Paternal, but not maternal, expressed anxiety was positively associated with infant expressed anxiety and avoidance, suggesting that social referencing processes between fathers and their infants differ from those between mothers and their infants.

    3. Neurocognitive mechanisms of learning to read: print tuning in beginning readers related to word-reading fluency and semantics but not phonology

      Aleksandra K. Eberhard-Moscicka, Lea B. Jost, Margit Raith and Urs Maurer

      Article first published online: 26 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12189

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      This study demonstrates the presence of print tuning in the first year of reading acquisition and its development at the individual level. Moreover, individual differences in print tuning are not only related to word-reading fluency, but also to semantic knowledge.

  26. Response

    1. The origins of ability and automaticity in tactile spatial perception

      Andrew J. Bremner, Jannath Begum Ali and Dorothy Cowie

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12185

  27. Commentary

    1. Development of the spatial coding of touch: ability vs. automaticity

      Brigitte Röder, Tobias Heed and Stephanie Badde

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12186

  28. Target Article with Commentary and Response

    1. Effects of posture on tactile localization by 4 years of age are modulated by sight of the hands: evidence for an early acquired external spatial frame of reference for touch

      Jannath Begum Ali, Dorothy Cowie and Andrew J. Bremner

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12184

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Adults show a deficit in their ability to localize tactile stimuli to their hands when their arms are in the less familiar, crossed posture. It is thought that this “crossed-hands deficit” arises due to a conflict between the anatomical and external spatial frames of reference within which touches can be encoded. The ability to localize a single tactile stimulus applied to one of the two hands across uncrossed-hands and crossed-hands postures was investigated in typically developing children (aged 4 to 6 years). The effect of posture was also compared across conditions in which children did, or did not have, visual information about current hand posture. All children, including the 4-year-olds, demonstrated the crossed hands deficit when they did not have sight of hand posture, suggesting that touch is located in an external reference frame by this age. In this youngest age-group, when visual information about current hand posture was available, tactile localization performance was impaired specifically when the children's hands were uncrossed. We propose that this may be due to an early difficulty with integrating visual representations of the hand within the body schema.

  29. Short Reports

    1. Do 6-month-olds understand that speech can communicate?

      Athena Vouloumanos, Alia Martin and Kristine H. Onishi

      Article first published online: 19 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12170

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Do infants recognize that speech can communicate due to their experience understanding and producing language, or do they appreciate that speech is communicative earlier, with little such experience? We examined whether 6-month-olds recognize that unfamiliar speech can communicate information about a target object. Results showed that when a Communicator used unfamiliar speech, infants looked longer when the Recipient selected the non-target object rather than the target object. However infants did not show the same pattern when the Communicator used a coughing vocalization unless the Recipient had prior information about which was the target object. By 6 months infants have some abstract understanding of the communicative function of speech that may provide an early mechanism for language and knowledge acquisition.

    2. Reducing an in-group bias in preschool children: the impact of moral behavior

      Chelsea Hetherington, Caroline Hendrickson and Melissa Koenig

      Article first published online: 19 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12192

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      How impressionable are in-group biases in early childhood? Previous research shows that children display robust preferences for members of their own social group, but also condemn those who harm others. The current study investigates children's evaluations of agents when their group membership and moral behavior come into conflict. Results highlight the remarkable flexibility of children's in-group bias: while moral information curbed this bias on explicit social evaluations, children's selective learning decisions were still driven by group information.

  30. Papers

    1. Electrophysiological evidence of heterogeneity in visual statistical learning in young children with ASD

      Shafali S. Jeste, Natasha Kirkham, Damla Senturk, Kyle Hasenstab, Catherine Sugar, Chloe Kupelian, Elizabeth Baker, Andrew J. Sanders, Christina Shimizu, Amanda Norona, Tanya Paparella, Stephanny F.N. Freeman and Scott P. Johnson

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12188

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We investigated the electrophysiological correlates of visual statistical learning in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using an event-related potential shape learning paradigm, and we examined the relation between visual statistical learning and cognitive function. Compared to typically developing (TD) controls, the ASD group as a whole showed reduced evidence of learning as defined by N1 (early visual discrimination) and P300 (attention to novelty) components. Upon further analysis, in the ASD group there was a positive correlation between N1 amplitude difference and non-verbal IQ, and a positive correlation between P300 amplitude difference and adaptive social function. Children with ASD and a high non-verbal IQ and high adaptive social function, therefore, demonstrated a distinctive pattern of learning. This is the first study to identify electrophysiological markers of visual statistical learning in children with ASD, and the first to demonstrate heterogeneity in statistical learning in ASD that maps onto non-verbal cognition and adaptive social function.

    2. Can't stop believing: inhibitory control and resistance to misleading testimony

      Vikram K. Jaswal, Koraly Pérez-Edgar, Robyn L. Kondrad, Carolyn M. Palmquist, Caitlin A. Cole and Claire E. Cole

      Article first published online: 8 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12187

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Some young children consistently believe what they are told even when it conflicts with something they have seen. We show that these ‘deferential’ children have more difficulty inhibiting a dominant response than ‘skeptical’ children who favor perceptual evidence. We suggest that not believing testimony can be challenging because it requires inhibiting a normally adaptive bias to believe information other people provide.

  31. Short Reports

    1. Teaching moral reasoning through gesture

      Leanne Beaudoin-Ryan and Susan Goldin-Meadow

      Article first published online: 23 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12180

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      A common thread weaving throughout these two educational initiatives is the ability to take multiple perspectives – increases in perspective taking ability have been found to precede advances in moral reasoning. We propose gesture as a behavior uniquely situated to augment perspective taking ability. Requiring gesture during spatial tasks has been shown to catalyze the production of more sophisticated problem-solving strategies, allowing children to profit from instruction. Our data demonstrate that requiring gesture during moral reasoning tasks has similar effects, resulting in increased perspective taking ability subsequent to instruction.

  32. Papers

    1. Learning to imitate individual finger movements by the human neonate

      Emese Nagy, Attila Pal and Hajnalka Orvos

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12163

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Imitation in human neonates, unlike imitation in young infants, is still regarded as controversial. Four studies with 203 newborns are presented to examine the imitation of index finger, two- and three-finger movements in human neonates. Results found differential imitations of all three modelled gestures, a left-handed pattern, and a rapid learning mechanism.

    2. Why the body comes first: effects of experimenter touch on infants' word finding

      Amanda Seidl, Ruth Tincoff, Christopher Baker and Alejandrina Cristia

      Article first published online: 16 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12182

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The lexicon of 6-month-olds is comprised of names and body part words. Unlike names, body part words do not often occur in isolation in the input. This presents a puzzle: How have infants been able to pull out these words from the continuous stream of speech at such a young age? We hypothesize that caregivers' interactions directed at and on the infant's body may be at the root of their early acquisition of body part words.

    3. Words, shape, visual search and visual working memory in 3-year-old children

      Catarina Vales and Linda B. Smith

      Article first published online: 11 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12179

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Do words cue children's visual attention, and if so, what are the relevant mechanisms? Across four experiments, 3-year-old children were tested in visual search tasks in which targets were cued with only a visual preview versus a visual preview and a spoken name. The experiments were designed to determine whether labels facilitated search times and to examine one route through which labels could have their effect: By influencing the visual working memory representation of the target. The results show that labels modulate the encoding of the target in working memory, which in turn influences the processing of visual information.

    4. Social class differences produce social group preferences

      Suzanne R. Horwitz, Kristin Shutts and Kristina R. Olson

      Article first published online: 7 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12181

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Some social groups are higher in socioeconomic status than others and the former tend to be favored over the latter. The present research investigated whether observing group differences in wealth alone can directly cause children to prefer wealthier groups. In Experiment 1, 4–5-year-old children developed a preference for a wealthy novel group over a less wealthy group. . In Experiment 2, children did not develop preferences when groups differed by another kind of positive/negative attribute (i.e. living in brightly colored houses vs. drab houses), suggesting that wealth is a particularly meaningful group distinction.

    5. Egocentric and allocentric navigation strategies in Williams syndrome and typical development

      Hannah J. Broadbent, Emily K. Farran and Andy Tolmie

      Article first published online: 7 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12176

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Recent findings suggest that difficulties on small-scale visuospatial tasks documented in Williams syndrome (WS) also extend to large-scale space. In particular, individuals with WS often present with difficulties in allocentric spatial coding (encoding relationships between items within an environment or array). This study examined the effect of atypical spatial processing in WS on large-scale navigational strategies, using a novel 3D virtual environment.

  33. Short Reports

    1. Are bilingual children better at ignoring perceptually misleading information? A novel test

      Meghan C. Goldman, James Negen and Barbara W. Sarnecka

      Article first published online: 7 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12175

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      This study compared monolingual and bilingual children's performance on a numerical discrimination task. Children, ages 3 to 6 years, were asked which of two arrays had “more dots.” Half of the trials were congruent (numerically greater array was larger in total area), and half were incongruent (numerically greater array was smaller in total area). Bilinguals did not perform differently from monolinguals either in identifying which array had more dots or at selectively attending to number. The present study thus finds no evidence of a bilingual advantage on this task.

  34. Papers

    1. Look who's talking: speech style and social context in language input to infants are linked to concurrent and future speech development

      Nairán Ramírez-Esparza, Adrián García-Sierra and Patricia K. Kuhl

      Article first published online: 7 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12172

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Language input is necessary for language learning, yet little is known about whether, in natural environments, the speech style and social context of language input to children impacts language development. In the present study we investigated the relationship between language input and language development, examining both the style of parental speech, comparing ‘parentese’ speech to standard speech, and the social context in which speech is directed to children, comparing one-on-one (1:1) to group social interactions. Importantly, the language input variables were assessed at home using digital first-person perspective recordings of the infants' auditory environment as they went about their daily lives (N = 26, 11- and 14-months-old).

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Visual motherese? Signal-to-noise ratios in toddler-directed television

      Sam V. Wass and Tim J. Smith

      Article first published online: 7 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12156

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Younger brains are noisier information processing systems; this means that information for younger individuals has to allow clearer differentiation between those aspects that are required for the processing task in hand (the ‘signal’) and those that are not (the ‘noise’). We compared toddler-directed and adult-directed TV programmes (TotTV/ATV). We examined how low-level visual features (that previous research has suggested influence gaze allocation) relate to semantic information, namely the location of the character speaking in each frame.

    3. Surprise! Infants consider possible bases of generalization for a single input example

      LouAnn Gerken, Colin Dawson, Razanne Chatila and Josh Tenenbaum

      Article first published online: 7 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12183

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Infants have been shown to generalize from a small number of input examples. However, existing studies allow two possible means of generalization. One is via a process of noting similarities shared by several examples. Alternatively, generalization may reflect an implicit desire to explain the input. The latter view suggests that generalization might occur when even a single input example is surprising, given the learner's current model of the domain.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Training-induced recovery of low-level vision followed by mid-level perceptual improvements in developmental object and face agnosia

      Maria Lev, Sharon Gilaie-Dotan, Dana Gotthilf-Nezri, Oren Yehezkel, Joseph L. Brooks, Anat Perry, Shlomo Bentin, Yoram Bonneh and Uri Polat

      Article first published online: 4 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12178

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Abnormal visual inputs during development can impair various visual functions, and it is unclear whether these can be corrected during adulthood. Here, visual training at the age of 20 significantly improved LG's underdeveloped basic and mid-level visual functions with long-term persistence in trained and also untrained visual functions.

  35. Short Reports

    1. Follow the liar: the effects of adult lies on children's honesty

      Chelsea Hays and Leslie J. Carver

      Article first published online: 17 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12171

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Recent research shows that most adults admit they lie to children. We examined the effects of adults' lies on elementary and preschool-aged children's behavior using a modified temptation resistance paradigm, in which children are tempted to peek at a toy they have been told not to look at, and later given a chance to either admit peeking, or try to conceal their transgression by lying. School age, but not preschool children were more likely both to peek and lie if they were first lied to by an adult. Implications of the results for parenting, education, and the legal system are discussed.

  36. Papers

    1. Learning and consolidation of new spoken words in autism spectrum disorder

      Lisa Henderson, Anna Powell, M. Gareth Gaskell and Courtenay Norbury

      Article first published online: 17 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12169

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      This study examines whether individual differences in vocabulary knowledge in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might be partly explained by a difficulty with consolidating newly learned spoken words and/or their integration with existing knowledge. Nineteen boys with ASD and 19 typically developing (TD) boys matched on age and vocabulary knowledge showed similar improvements in recognition and recall of novel words (e.g. “biscal”) 24 hours after training, suggesting an intact ability to consolidate explicit knowledge of new spoken word forms. However, they showed striking differences in the extent to which they integrated the new words with existing lexical knowledge (indexed by lexical competition between new and existing words).

    2. 123s and ABCs: developmental shifts in logarithmic-to-linear responding reflect fluency with sequence values

      Michelle Hurst, K. Leigh Monahan, Elizabeth Heller and Sara Cordes

      Article first published online: 17 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12165

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      When placing numbers along a number line with endpoints 0 and 1000, children generally space numbers logarithmically until around the age of 7, when they shift to a predominantly linear pattern of responding. This developmental shift of responding on the number placement task has been argued to be indicative of a shift in the format of the underlying representation of number (Siegler & Opfer, ). In the current study, we provide evidence from both child and adult participants to suggest that performance on the number placement task may not reflect the structure of the mental number line, but instead is a function of the fluency (i.e. ease) with which the individual can work with the values in the sequence.

  37. Short Reports

    1. Implicit meaning in 18-month-old toddlers

      Claire Delle Luche, Samantha Durrant, Caroline Floccia and Kim Plunkett

      Article first published online: 13 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12164

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      A substantial body of evidence demonstrates that infants understand the meaning of spoken words from as early as 6 months. Yet little is known about their ability to do so in the absence of any visual referent, which would offer diagnostic evidence for an adult-like, symbolic interpretation of words and their use in language mediated thought. We used the head-turn preference procedure to examine whether infants can generate implicit meanings from word forms alone as early as 18 months of age, and whether they are sensitive to meaningful relationships between words.

  38. Papers

    1. Young children ‘solve for x’ using the Approximate Number System

      Melissa M. Kibbe and Lisa Feigenson

      Article first published online: 3 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12177

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The Approximate Number System (ANS) supports basic arithmetic computation in early childhood, but it is unclear whether the ANS also supports the more complex computations introduced later in formal education. ‘Solving for x’ in addend-unknown problems is notoriously difficult for children, who often struggle with these types of problems well into high school. Here we asked whether 4–6-year-old children could solve for an unknown addend using the ANS.

    2. Understanding the mapping between numerical approximation and number words: evidence from Williams syndrome and typical development

      Melissa E. Libertus, Lisa Feigenson, Justin Halberda and Barbara Landau

      Article first published online: 1 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12154

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      All numerate humans have access to two systems of number representation: an exact system that is argued to be based on language and that supports formal mathematics, and an Approximate Number System (ANS) that is present at birth and appears independent of language. Here we examine the interaction between these two systems by comparing the profiles of people with Williams syndrome (WS) with those of typically developing children between ages 4 and 9 years. WS is a rare genetic deficit marked by fluent and well-structured language together with severe spatial deficits, deficits in formal math, and abnormalities of the parietal cortex, which is thought to subserve the ANS.

    3. Visual size perception and haptic calibration during development

      Monica Gori, Luana Giuliana, Giulio Sandini and David Burr

      Article first published online: 12 SEP 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01183.x

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      It is still unclear how the visual system perceives accurately the size of objects at different distances. One suggestion, dating back to Berkeley’s famous essay, is that vision is calibrated by touch. If so, we may expect different mechanisms involved for near, reachable distances and far, unreachable distances. To study how the haptic system calibrates vision we measured size constancy in children (from 6 to 16 years of age) and adults, at various distances.


  1. 1 - 72