• Issue
    Volume 23, Issue 5
    September 2020

COVER IMAGE

Free Access

Front Cover: Cover Image, Volume 23, Issue 5

  • First Published: 13 August 2020
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The cover image is based on the Original Article Visual experiences during letter production contribute to the development of the neural systems supporting letter perception by Karin Harman James and Sophia Vinci-Booher., https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12965.

Free Access

Back Cover: Cover Image, Volume 23, Issue 5

  • First Published: 01 October 2020
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The cover image is based on the Original Article Network structure reveals clusters of associations between childhood adversities and development outcomes by Margaret Sheridan et al., https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12934.

ISSUE INFORMATION

Free Access

Issue Information

  • First Published: 13 August 2020

PAPERS

The teleological stance: Past, present, and future

  • First Published: 17 April 2020
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Teleological processes and assumptions of rationality that are represented and understood in infancy have been largely centered on three paradigms: visual habituation, rational imitation, and action prediction. To date, the ontology of teleological processes remains unspecified. We present a new action-based theory of teleological processes (here referred to as the embodied account of teleological processes), based on the development of goal-directed reaching with its origin during the fetal period and continuous development over the first few months of life.

Neural recruitment related to threat perception differs as a function of adolescent sleep

  • First Published: 21 December 2019
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Sleep duration and sleep quality differentially related to neural activation in response to affectively neutral faces in a sample of 46 human adolescents. Duration-related activation in the occipital cortex and occipital fusiform gyrus was associated with increased threat detection whereas reduced prefrontal cortex activity linked to poor sleep quality was associated with less consistent responding during the task.

Network structure reveals clusters of associations between childhood adversities and development outcomes

  • First Published: 23 December 2019
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Network analysis of assocaitions among Sexual abuse (SA), Physical abuse (PA), Physical neglect (PN), Direct community violence (CV), Family violence (FV), Emotional stroop adaptation (ES-adapt), Overall performance on emotional stroop (ES-overall), Performance matrix reasoning (WASI-M), Performance vocabulary (WASI-V), Arrows switching task (switching), PASAT time to quit (PASAT), Parent 1 education (ED1), and Parent 2 education (ED2) reveal a two cluster solution with one cluster characterized by parent education and cognitive function while the other is characterized by exposure to maltreatment and emotional reactivity.

Visual experiences during letter production contribute to the development of the neural systems supporting letter perception

  • First Published: 16 March 2020
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Different types of visual percepts of a single category–letters–recruit different neural systems and these systems change with experience. Our results make two crucial contributions: (1) Adult-like letter processing emerges earlier in ventral-temporal cortex than in parietal and frontal motor regions and (2) The perception of variability of letterform that occurs during letter production may contribute to this developmental trajectory.

Cerebral blood flow in 5- to 8-month-olds: Regional tissue maturity is associated with infant affect

  • First Published: 04 December 2019
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Neurovasculature that supports neural activity is still developing in infancy. We used an MRI technique designed to measure blood perfusion to index this maturity in 5-8-month old infants. We found a strong linear association between age and regional cerebral blood flow across the brain. Blood flow in regions that support emotion regulation was also associated with infant positive affect recovery after a laboratory stressor and with temperamental negative affect after correcting for global blood flow. These findings support the notion that regional cerebral blood flow may be an index of brain tissue maturity in infants and that the infant emotional experience may be reflected in this regional development.

Individual differences in executive function partially explain the socioeconomic gradient in middle-school academic achievement

  • First Published: 08 January 2020
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We evaluated neurocognitive mediators of socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement in a diverse sample of youth whose data were linked to administrative records of performance on schooladministered tests of 7th grade reading and math proficiency (N = 203). Children from relatively higher-SES families performed better than their lower-SES peers on all neurocognitive and achievement measures, and SES disparities in both reading and math achievement were partially mediated by variation in executive function, but not verbal ability.

The role of midfrontal theta oscillations across the development of cognitive control in preschoolers and school-age children

  • First Published: 01 January 2020
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Theta oscillatory activity is observed from infancy to adulthood in situations that engage cognitive control. In this article, we show that theta in midfrontal areas supports the engagement of cognitive control for the resolution of different conficts (at the response and task-set levels) and over distinct developmental periods (the preschool and school ages).

Individual differences in motor development during early childhood: An MEG study

  • First Published: 23 December 2019
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MEG recordings using a custom child size system were used to study movement-related brain activity in typically developing children 3 to 8 years of age. Differences in movement-related brain activity were observed both longitudinally and cross-sectionally comparing preschool age children, school age children, and adults. Activity in the contralateral sensorimotor cortex contralateral to right finger movements for adults (top left) show typical pre-movement readiness field and motor field peak (MF), compared to 3 to 5 year-old children (bottom left) confirming previous reports that pre-movement brain activity is largely absent in early childhood. Time-frequency analysis of oscillatory activity indicated that school age children show more robust activity in the beta band (15-30 Hz) compared to preschool children, as well as a marked shift to high frequency (70-90 Hz) gamma activity at movement onset, although still not completely adult-like. These results confirm that maturation of movement-related brain activity is still incomplete by mid-childhood. In addition, individual children demonstrated markedly different developmental trajectories in this movement related brain activity, suggesting that individual differences should be taken into account when studying motor development across age groups.

Open Access

Temporal representation impairment in developmental dyslexia for unisensory and multisensory stimuli

  • First Published: 25 April 2020
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Multisensory audio visual processing in dyslexia is due to impaired audio and visual inputs rather than impaired multisensory processing per se.

Does culture shape face perception in autism? Cross-cultural evidence of the own-race advantage from the UK and Japan

  • First Published: 25 January 2020
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There is considerable heterogeneity in the presence of an own-race advantage (ORA) in both typical development and in those with an autism spectrum diagnosis. There is also vast heterogeneity in the extent of an ORA between participants in the UK and in Japan. The current cross-cultural study challenges the view that atypical experiences with faces lead to a reduced or absent ORA in children with autism.

“I don't know but I know who to ask”: 12-month-olds actively seek information from knowledgeable adults

  • First Published: 18 January 2020
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Pre-verbal infants used social referencing to actively and selectively seek information from social partners as part of their interrogative communicative toolkit. When facing referential uncertainty, but not during other phases of the procedure 12-month-old infants were more likely to reference the more knowledgeable person rather than the non-informative person.

First steps toward an understanding of procedural fairness

  • First Published: 23 January 2020
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We investigated infants’ sensitivity to procedural impartiality. Infants were shown short videos of helpers that helped two agents either fairly, following equal delays, or unfairly (one of the two help seekers had to wait much longer than the other one). Infants looked reliably longer at the unequal delays scenarios, suggesting that they detected a violation of a procedural fairness principle.

Two-year-old children preferentially transmit simple actions but not pedagogically demonstrated actions

  • First Published: 25 January 2020
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We directly contrasted pedagogical demonstration with complexity of novel actions in an information transmission paradigm with 2-year-old children. Children preferentially transmitted simple non-pedagogically demonstrated actions over pedagogically demonstrated complex actions, but showed no preference for pedagogically demonstrated actions when both actions were matched for complexity.

Numerosity discrimination in deep neural networks: Initial competence, developmental refinement and experience statistics

  • First Published: 24 January 2020
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We present a computational model based on deep neural networks that simulates the developmental trajectory of numerosity perception in human children. Numerosity sensitivity in the model emerges both in controlled environments, and when the statistical structure of the training set mirrors that of natural environments.

Do you understand what I want to tell you? Early sensitivity in bilinguals' iconic gesture perception and production

  • First Published: 28 January 2020
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This study explored whether monolingual and bilingual pre-schoolers differ in their ability to understand others' iconic gestures, produce intelligible iconic gestures themselves and how these two abilities are related to differences in parental iconic gesture frequency. Bilingual children produced more intelligible gestures than monolinguals.

Open Access

Only the right noise? Effects of phonetic and visual input variability on 14-month-olds' minimal pair word learning

  • First Published: 12 February 2020
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This study tested how different kinds of input variability affect 14-month-olds’ minimal pair learning in the habituation-switch paradigm. Enhanced learning was found when the labels where presented by multiple speakers compared to a single speaker. Visual variability of the objects presented with the labels did not support learning.

INVITED COMMENTARY

Open Access

Action selection in imitation: Why do we still need the teleological stance? Commentary on ‘The teleological stance: Past, present, and future’ by Juvrud and Gredeback

  • First Published: 17 April 2020
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The teleological stance and natural pedagogy are integrated as a system for representing the teleological structure of novel events, including causally opaque ones. In this sense, the teleological stance allows children to build a goal hierarchy, based on which they become able to select the actions to perform.

INVITED RESPONSE

Open Access

An embodied account of teleological processes

  • First Published: 17 April 2020
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We emphasize a need for more research and propose our own theoretical framework, the embodied account of teleological processes, to try to explain the inconsistencies in the teleological stance literature and fill the gap in the teleological framework.

SHORT REPORTS

Young children are more likely to cheat after overhearing that a classmate is smart

  • First Published: 06 December 2019
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Research on moral socialization has focused on the role of direct communication and has almost completely ignored a potentially rich source of social influence: evaluative comments that children overhear. In a study with two groups of preschool children (total N = 200), the 5-year-olds cheated significantly more often in a game if they overheard a classmate praised for being smart, but the 3-year-olds did not. These results show that the negative implications of ability praise can spread outward beyond the intended recipient, and demonstrate that overheard evaluative information can influence moral development.

Young Mandarin learners use function words to distinguish between nouns and verbs

  • First Published: 02 December 2019
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Three- and five-year-old Mandarin-learning children were exposed to novel words embedded in sentence frames differing only in the form class markers used. The 5-year-olds interpreted the novel words as either nouns or verbs depending on the form class markers they heard, while the 3-year-olds learned only the nouns. Mandarin-learning children use function words to interpret new words as nouns versus verbs. This ability appears in Mandarin learners between 3 and 5 years of age.

Partial knowledge in the development of number word understanding

  • First Published: 05 February 2020
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Children who correctly give the number above their knower level on give-N (“N+1 Givers”) exhibit more growth in number knowledge than their knower-level matched peers. These same N + 1 givers perform worse on concurrent measures of their number word understanding when compared to children who have clera knowledge of that set size. These results suggest children possess partial knowledge of number words that may not be captured by traditional ways of coding the give-N task.

Gender gaps in cognitive and social-emotional skills in early primary grades: Evidence from rural Indonesia

  • First Published: 10 December 2019
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A selection of results from Table 4 are shown. Line shows magnitude of gender gap. Point estimates are reported using black data labels. Each section of the bar shows the share of the gender gap explained. Shares are reported using white data labels. Hollow sections are statistically insignificant. A small statistically insignificant negative estimate for the share of the gap explained by months of preprimary school in the case of emotional maturity is not visible. Unpacking gender gaps in cognitive and socio-emotional skills, this paper finds that differences in parenting styles and in early schooling play a key role in explaining gaps in achievement between boys and girls. However, relative to each other, parenting styles seem to explain more of the gap in socio-emotional skills while schooling seems to explain more of the gap in cognitive skills.

Children's understanding of habitual behaviour

  • First Published: 14 February 2020
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After hearing vignettes of how an agent achieved a goal either habitually or just twice, children aged 5–10 were asked what the agent would do after the context changed, and the previous way to achieve the goal was no longer optimal. The figure on the right shows how the model fits predict the probability of predicting the agent will repeat their previous actions 0, 1 or 2 times out of 2 vignettes each in the Habit and Non-Habit conditions across ages, respectively. In the Habit condition, the probability of predicting a repetition 0 times decreases with age, while the probability of predicting a repetition 1 or 2 times increases. The Non-Habit condition shows no such change with age.

Attachment security differs by later autism spectrum disorder: A prospective study

  • First Published: 20 February 2020
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In the first study to assess attachment in infants at high familial risk for ASD prior to ASD diagnosis, high-risk infants with insecure-resistant attachments were over nine times more likely to receive an ASD diagnosis than high-risk infants with secure attachments. Insecure-resistant attachment in high-risk infants may confer an additional risk for later ASD and heightened risk for socioemotional difficulties.