EyeLink Developmental Eye-Tracking Publications
All EyeLink developmental research publications (infants / children / aging) up until 2020 (with some early 2021s) are listed below by year. You can search the publications using keywords such as Infant, Reading, Word Recognition, etc. You can also search for individual author names. If we missed any EyeLink developmental article, please email us!
Jasmine R Aziz; Samantha R Good; Raymond M Klein; Gail A Eskes
In: Cortex, 136 , pp. 28–40, 2021.
Studying age-related changes in working memory (WM) and visual search can provide insights into mechanisms of visuospatial attention. In visual search, WM is used to remember previously inspected objects/locations and to maintain a mental representation of the target to guide the search. We sought to extend this work, using aging as a case of reduced WM capacity. The present study tested whether various domains of WM would predict visual search performance in both young (n = 47; aged 18-35 yrs) and older (n = 48; aged 55-78) adults. Participants completed executive and domain-specific WM measures, and a naturalistic visual search task with (single) feature and triple-conjunction (three-feature) search conditions. We also varied the WM load requirements of the search task by manipulating whether a reference picture of the target (i.e., target template) was displayed during the search, or whether participants needed to search from memory. In both age groups, participants with better visuospatial executive WM were faster to locate complex search targets. Working memory storage capacity predicted search performance regardless of target complexity; however, visuospatial storage capacity was more predictive for young adults, whereas verbal storage capacity was more predictive for older adults. Displaying a target template during search diminished the involvement of WM in search performance, but this effect was primarily observed in young adults. Age-specific interactions between WM and visual search abilities are discussed in the context of mechanisms of visuospatial attention and how they may vary across the lifespan.
Sarah Chabal; Sayuri Hayakawa; Viorica Marian
In: Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 6 (2), pp. 1–10, 2021.
Over the course of our lifetimes, we accumulate extensive experience associating the things that we see with the words we have learned to describe them. As a result, adults engaged in a visual search task will often look at items with labels that share phonological features with the target object, demonstrating that language can become activated even in non-linguistic contexts. This highly interactive cognitive system is the culmination of our linguistic and visual experiences—and yet, our understanding of how the relationship between language and vision develops remains limited. The present study explores the developmental trajectory of language-mediated visual search by examining whether children can be distracted by linguistic competitors during a non-linguistic visual search task. Though less robust compared to what has been previously observed with adults, we find evidence of phonological competition in children as young as 8 years old. Furthermore, the extent of language activation is predicted by individual differences in linguistic, visual, and domain-general cognitive abilities, with the greatest phonological competition observed among children with strong language abilities combined with weaker visual memory and inhibitory control. We propose that linguistic expertise is fundamental to the development of language-mediated visual search, but that the rate and degree of automatic language activation depends on interactions among a broader network of cognitive abilities.
Annabell Coors; Natascha Merten; David D Ward; M Schmid; Monique M B Breteler; Ulrich Ettinger
In: Vision Research, 178 , pp. 124–133, 2021.
Assessing physiological changes that occur with healthy ageing is prerequisite for understanding pathophysiological age-related changes. Eye movements are studied as biomarkers for pathological changes because they are altered in patients with neurodegenerative disorders. However, there is a lack of data from large samples assessing age-related physiological changes and sex differences in oculomotor performance. Thus, we assessed and quantified cross-sectional relations of age and sex with oculomotor performance in the general population. We report results from the first 4,000 participants (aged 30–95 years) of the Rhineland Study, a community- based prospective cohort study in Bonn, Germany. Participants completed fixation, smooth pursuit, pro- saccade and antisaccade tasks. We quantified associations of age and sex with oculomotor outcomes using multivariable linear regression models. Performance in 12 out of 18 oculomotor measures declined with increasing age. No differences between age groups were observed in five antisaccade outcomes (amplitude- adjusted and unadjusted peak velocity, amplitude gain, spatial error and percentage of corrected errors) and for blink rate during fixation. Small sex differences occurred in smooth pursuit velocity gain (men have higher gain) and blink rate during fixation (men blink less). We conclude that performance declines with age in two thirds of oculomotor outcomes but that there was no evidence of sex differences in eye movement performance except for two outcomes. Since the percentage of corrected antisaccade errors was not associated with age but is known to be affected by pathological cognitive decline, it represents a promising candidate preclinical biomarker of neurodegeneration.
Sainan Zhao; Lin Li; Min Chang; Jingxin Wang; Kevin B Paterson
In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 74 (1), pp. 68–78, 2021.
Older adults are thought to compensate for slower lexical processing by making greater use of contextual knowledge, relative to young adults, to predict words in sentences. Accordingly, compared to young adults, older adults should produce larger contextual predictability effects in reading times and skipping rates for words. Empirical support for this account is nevertheless scarce. Perhaps the clearest evidence to date comes from a recent Chinese study showing larger word predictability effects for older adults in reading times but not skipping rates for two-character words. However, one possibility is that the absence of a word-skipping effect in this experiment was due to the older readers skipping words infrequently because of difficulty processing two-character words parafoveally. We therefore took a further look at this issue, using one-character target words to boost word-skipping. Young (18–30 years) and older (65+ years) adults read sentences containing a target word that was either highly predictable or less predictable from the prior sentence context. Our results replicate the finding that older adults produce larger word predictability effects in reading times but not word-skipping, despite high skipping rates. We discuss these findings in relation to ageing effects on reading in different writing systems.
J Hartwig; A Kretschmer-trendowicz; J R Helmert; M L Jung; S Pannasch
In: International Journal of Psychophysiology, 160 , pp. 38–55, 2021.
Prospective memory (PM), the memory for delayed intentions, develops during childhood. The current study examined PM processes, such as monitoring, PM cue identification and intention retrieval with particular focus on their temporal dynamics and interrelations during successful and unsuccessful PM performance. We analysed eye movements of 6–7 and 9–10 year olds during the inspection of movie stills while they completed one of three different tasks: scene viewing followed by a snippet allocation task, a PM task and a visual search task. We also tested children's executive functions of inhibition, flexibility and working memory. We found that older children outperformed younger children in all tasks but neither age group showed variations in monitoring behaviour during the course of the PM task. In fact, neither age group monitored. According to our data, initial processes necessary for PM success take place during the first fixation on the PM cue. In PM hit trials we found prolonged fixations after the first fixation on the PM cue, and older children showed a greater efficiency in PM processes following this first PM cue fixation. Regarding executive functions, only working memory had a significant effect on children's PM performance. Across both age groups children with better working memory scores needed less time to react to the PM cue. Our data support the notion that children rely on spontaneous processes to notice the PM cue, followed by a resource intensive search for the intended action.
Onkar Krishna; Kiyoharu Aizawa; Go Irie
Computational attention system for children, adults and elderly Journal Article
In: Multimedia Tools and Applications, 80 , pp. 1055–1074, 2021.
The existing computational visual attention systems have focused on the objective to basically simulate and understand the concept of visual attention system in adults. Consequently, the impact of observer's age in scene viewing behavior has rarely been considered. This study quantitatively analyzed the age-related differences in gaze landings during scene viewing for three different class of images: naturals, man-made, and fractals. Observer's of different age-group have shown different scene viewing tendencies independent to the class of the image viewed. Several interesting observations are drawn from the results. First, gaze landings for man-made dataset showed that whereas child observers focus more on the scene foreground, i.e., locations that are near, elderly observers tend to explore the scene background, i.e., locations farther in the scene. Considering this result a framework is proposed in this paper to quantitatively measure the depth bias tendency across age groups. Second, the quantitative analysis results showed that children exhibit the lowest exploratory behavior level but the highest central bias tendency among the age groups and across the different scene categories. Third, inter-individual similarity metrics reveal that an adult had significantly lower gaze consistency with children and elderly compared to other adults for all the scene categories. Finally, these analysis results were consequently leveraged to develop a more accurate age-adapted saliency model independent to the image type. The prediction accuracy suggests that our model fits better to the collected eye-gaze data of the observers belonging to different age groups than the existing models do.
Feifei Liang; Jie Ma; Xuejun Bai; Simon P Liversedge
In: Journal of Memory and Language, 116 , pp. 104183, 2021.
textcopyright 2020 We adopted a word learning paradigm to examine whether children and adults differ in their saccade targeting strategies when learning novel words in Chinese reading. Adopting a developmental perspective, we extrapolated hypotheses pertaining to saccadic targeting and its development from the Chinese Reading Model (Li & Pollatsek, 2020). In our experiment, we embedded novel words into eight sentences, each of which provided a context for readers to form a new lexical representation. A group of children and a group of adults were required to read these sentences as their eye movements were recorded. At a basic level, we showed that decisions of initial saccadic targeting, and mechanisms responsible for computation of initial landing sites relative to launch sites are in place early in children, however, such targeting was less optimal in children than adults. Furthermore, for adults as lexical familiarity increased saccadic targeting behavior became more optimized, however, no such effects occurred in children. Mechanisms controlling initial saccadic targeting in relation to launch sites and in respect of lexical familiarity appear to operate with functional efficacy that is developmentally delayed. At a broad theoretical level, we consider our results in relation to issues associated with visually and linguistically, mediated saccadic control. More specifically, our novel findings fit neatly with our theoretical extrapolations from the CRM and suggest that its framework may be valuable for future investigations of the development of eye movement control in Chinese reading.
Carly Moser; Lyndsay Schmitt; Joseph Schmidt; Amanda Fairchild; Jessica Klusek
In: Brain and Cognition, 148 , pp. 1–10, 2021.
One in 113-178 females worldwide carry a premutation allele on the FMR1 gene. The FMR1 premutation is linked to neurocognitive and neuromotor impairments, although the phenotype is not fully understood, particularly with respect to age effects. This study sought to define oculomotor response inhibition skills in women with the FMR1 premutation and their association with age and fall risk. We employed an antisaccade eye- tracking paradigm to index oculomotor inhibition skills in 35 women with the FMR1 premutation and 28 control women. The FMR1 premutation group exhibited longer antisaccade latency and reduced accuracy relative to controls, indicating deficient response inhibition skills. Longer response latency was associated with older age in the FMR1 premutation and was also predictive of fall risk. Findings highlight the utility of the antisaccade paradigm for detecting early signs of age-related executive decline in the FMR1 premutation, which is related to fall risk. Findings support the need for clinical prevention efforts to decrease and delay the trajectory of age-related executive decline in women with the FMR1 premutation during midlife.
Mira L Nencheva; Elise A Piazza; Casey Lew‐Williams
In: Developmental Science, 24 , pp. 1–15, 2021.
Young children have an overall preference for child-directed speech (CDS) over adult- directed speech (ADS), and its structural features are thought to facilitate language learning. Many studies have supported these findings, but less is known about pro- cessing of CDS at short, sub-second timescales. How do the moment-to-moment dynamics of CDS influence young children's attention and learning? In Study 1, we used hierarchical clustering to characterize patterns of pitch variability in a natural CDS corpus, which uncovered four main word-level contour shapes: ‘fall', ‘rise', ‘hill', and ‘valley'. In Study 2, we adapted a measure from adult attention research—pupil size synchrony—to quantify real-time attention to speech across participants, and found that toddlers showed higher synchrony to the dynamics of CDS than to ADS. Importantly, there were consistent differences in toddlers' attention when listening to the four word-level contour types. In Study 3, we found that pupil size synchrony during exposure to novel words predicted toddlers' learning at test. This suggests that the dynamics of pitch in CDS not only shape toddlers' attention but guide their learn- ing of new words. By revealing a physiological response to the real-time dynamics of CDS, this investigation yields a new sub-second framework for understanding young children's engagement with one of the most important signals in their environment.
Aaron Veldre; Roslyn Wong; Sally Andrews
In: Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, pp. 1–9, 2020.
The gaze-contingent moving-window paradigm was used to assess the size and symmetry of the perceptual span in older readers. The eye movements of 49 cognitively intact older adults (60–88 years of age) were recorded as they read sentences varying in difficulty, and the availability of letter information to the right and left of fixation was manipulated. To reconcile discrepancies in previous estimates of the perceptual span in older readers, individual differences in written language proficiency were assessed with tests of vocabulary, reading comprehension, reading speed, spelling ability, and print exposure. The results revealed that higher proficiency older adults extracted information up to 15 letter spaces to the right of fixation, while lower proficiency readers showed no additional benefit beyond 9 letters to the right. However, all readers showed improvements to reading with the availability of up to 9 letters to the left—confirming previous evidence of reduced perceptual span asymmetry in older readers. The findings raise questions about whether the source of age-related changes in parafoveal processing lies in the adoption of a risky reading strategy involving an increased propensity to both guess upcoming words and make corrective regressions.
Sabrina E Twilhaar; Artem V Belopolsky; Jorrit F Kieviet; Ruurd M Elburg; Jaap Oosterlaan; Jorrit F de Kieviet; Ruurd M van Elburg; Jaap Oosterlaan
In: Child Development, 91 (4), pp. 1272–1283, 2020.
Very preterm birth is associated with attention deficits that interfere with academic performance. A better understanding of attention processes is necessary to support very preterm born children. This study examined voluntary and involuntary attentional control in very preterm born adolescents by measuring saccadic eye movements. Additionally, these control processes were related to symptoms of inattention, intelligence, and academic performance. Participants included 47 very preterm and 61 full-term born 13-years-old adolescents. Oculomotor control was assessed using the antisaccade and oculomotor capture paradigm. Very preterm born adolescents showed deficits in antisaccade but not in oculomotor capture performance, indicating impairments in voluntary but not involuntary attentional control. These impairments mediated the relation between very preterm birth and inattention, intelligence, and academic performance.
Quan Wang; Carla A Wall; Erin C Barney; Jessica L Bradshaw; Suzanne L Macari; Katarzyna Chawarska; Frederick Shic
In: Autism Research, 13 (1), pp. 61–73, 2020.
Young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) look less toward faces compared to their non-ASD peers, limiting access to social learning. Currently, no technologies directly target these core social attention difficulties. This study examines the feasibility of automated gaze modification training for improving attention to faces in 3-year-olds with ASD. Using free-viewing data from typically developing (TD) controls (n = 41), we implemented gaze-contingent adaptive cueing to redirect children with ASD toward normative looking patterns during viewing of videos of an actress. Children with ASD were randomly assigned to either (a) an adaptive Cue condition (Cue
Anka Slana Ozimič; Grega Repovš
In: Journal of Memory and Language, 112 , pp. 104090, 2020.
To better understand the sources of visual working memory limitations we explore the possibility that its capacity is limited by two systems: a representational system that enables formation of independent representations of visual objects, and an active maintenance system that enables sustained activation of the established representations in the absence of external stimuli. A total of 392 participants took part in four experiments in which they were asked to maintain orientation of items presented to the left, right or both visual hemifields. In all four experiments participants were able to maintain more items when they were distributed across both versus one visual hemifield, consistent with the proposal that bilateral display enables utilization of representational capacities of both hemispheres. Bilateral capacity, however, did not reach the combined representational potential of both hemispheres, indicating that the capacity is further limited by a second, unitary active maintenance system. Our study further suggests that both systems' capacities change throughout the lifespan very similarly. They both increase through development, reach a peak at the same age and decrease in healthy aging. This indicates that systems beyond executive processes, which receive most attention in the literature, are contributing to the decline in working memory in healthy aging.
Sabine Soltani; Dimitri M L van Ryckeghem; Tine Vervoort; Lauren C Heathcote; Keith Yeates; Christopher Sears; Melanie Noel
In: Pain, 161 (10), pp. 2263–2273, 2020.
Attentional biases are posited to play a key role in the development and maintenance of chronic pain in adults and youth. However, research to date has yielded mixed findings, and few studies have examined attentional biases in pediatric samples. This study used eye-gaze tracking to examine attentional biases to pain-related stimuli in a clinical sample of youth with chronic pain and pain-free controls. The moderating role of attentional control was also examined. Youth with chronic pain (n = 102) and pain-free controls (n = 53) viewed images of children depicting varying levels of pain expressiveness paired with neutral faces while their eye gaze was recorded. Attentional control was assessed using both a questionnaire and a behavioural task. Both groups were more likely to first fixate on high pain faces but showed no such orienting bias for moderate or low pain faces. Youth with chronic pain fixated longer on all pain faces than neutral faces, whereas youth in the control group exhibited a total fixation bias only for high and moderate pain faces. Attentional control did not moderate attentional biases between or within groups. The results lend support to theoretical models positing the presence of attentional biases in youth with chronic pain. Further research is required to clarify the nature of attentional biases and their relationship to clinical outcomes.
Lauren Spinner; Lindsey Cameron; Heather J Ferguson
In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 199 , pp. 1–29, 2020.
Differences between children's and parents' implicit and explicit gender stereotypes were investigated in two experiments. For the first time, the visual world paradigm compared parents' and 7-8-year-old children's looking preferences toward masculine- and feminine-typed objects stereotypically associated with a story character's gender. In Experiment 1 participants listened to sentences that included a verb that inferred intentional action with an object (e.g., “Lilly/Alexander will play with the toy”), and in Experiment 2 the verb was replaced with a neutral verb (e.g., “Lilly/Alexander will trip over the toy”). A questionnaire assessed participants' explicit gender stereotype endorsement (and knowledge [Experiment 2]) of children's toys. Results revealed that parents and children displayed similar implicit stereotypes, but different explicit stereotypes, to one another. In Experiment 1, both children and parents displayed looking preferences toward the masculine-typed object when the story character was male and looking preferences toward the feminine-typed object when the character was female. No gender effects were found with a neutral verb in Experiment 2, reinforcing the impact of gender stereotypes on implicit processing and showing that the effects are not simply driven by gender stereotypic name–object associations. In the explicit measure, parents did not endorse the gender stereotypes related to toys but rather appeared to be egalitarian, whereas children's responses were gender stereotypic.
Emma E M Stewart; Carolin Hubner; Alexander C Schutz
In: Journal of Vision, 20 (10), pp. 1–25, 2020.
Humans do not notice small displacements to objects that occur during saccades, termed saccadic suppression of displacement (SSD), and this effect is reduced when a blank is introduced between the pre- and postsaccadic stimulus (Bridgeman, Hendry, & Stark, 1975; Deubel, Schneider, & Bridgeman, 1996). While these effects have been studied extensively in adults, it is unclear how these phenomena are characterized in children. A potentially related mechanism, saccadic suppression of contrast sensitivity—a prerequisite to achieve a stable percept—is stronger for children (Bruno, Brambati, Perani, & Morrone, 2006). However, the evidence for how transsaccadic stimulus displacements may be suppressed or integrated is mixed. While they can integrate basic visual feature information from an early age, they cannot integrate multisensory information (Gori, Viva, Sandini, & Burr, 2008; Nardini, Jones, Bedford, & Braddick, 2008), suggesting a failure in the ability to integrate more complex sensory information. We tested children 7 to 12 years old and adults 19 to 23 years old on their ability to perceive intrasaccadic stimulus displacements, with and without a postsaccadic blank. Results showed that children had stronger SSD than adults and a larger blanking effect. Children also had larger undershoots and more variability in their initial saccade endpoints, indicating greater intrinsic uncertainty, and they were faster in executing corrective saccades to account for these errors. Together, these results suggest that children may have a greater internal expectation or prediction of saccade error than adults; thus, the stronger SSD in children may be due to higher intrinsic uncertainty in target localization or saccade execution.
Carla M Strickland-Hughes; Kaitlyn E Dillon; Robin L West; Natalie C Ebner
In: Cognition, 200 , pp. 1–11, 2020.
Successfully learning and remembering people's names is a challenging memory task for adults of all ages, and this already difficult social skill worsens with age, even in normative “healthy” aging. The own-age bias, a type of in-group bias, could affect the difficulty of this task across age. Past evidence supports an own-age bias in face processing, wherein individuals preferably attend to and better recognize faces of members of their own age group. However, the own-age bias has not been examined previously in relation to explicit face-name associative encoding and subsequent name retrieval, despite the importance of this social skill. Using behavioral and eye-tracking methodology, this cross-sectional research investigated the own-age bias for name memory (recognition and recall) and visual attention (fixation count, looking time, and normalized pupil size) when learning novel face-name pairs. Younger adult (n = 90) and older adult (n = 84) participants completed a face-name association task that tested name memory for younger and older female and male faces, while eye-tracking data were recorded. The visual attention variables taken from the eye-tracking data showed significant age-of-face effects at both encoding and retrieval, but no overall own-age bias in attention. Both younger and older participants showed an own-age bias in name recall with better memory for names paired with faces of their own age, as compared to other-aged faces. This cross-over effect for name memory suggests that memory for information with high social and affective relevance to the individual may be relatively spared in aging, despite overall age-related declines in memory performance.
Emma Sumner; Samuel B Hutton; Elisabeth L Hill
In: Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, pp. 1–12, 2020.
Objectives: Sensorimotor difficulties are often reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Visual and motor skills are linked in that the processing ofvisual information can help in guiding motor movements. The present study investigated oculomotor skill and its relation to general motor skill in ASD by providing a comprehensive assessment of oculomotor control. Methods: Fifty children (25 ASD; 25 typically developing [TD]), aged 7–10 years, completed a motor assessment (comprising fine and gross motor tasks) and oculomotor battery (comprising fixation, smooth pursuit, prosaccade and antisaccade tasks). Results: No group differences were found for antisaccade errors, nor saccade latencies in prosaccade and antisaccade tasks, but increased saccade amplitude variability was observed in children with ASD, suggesting a reduced consistency in saccade accuracy. Children with ASD also demonstrated poorer fixation stability than their peers and spent less time in pursuit of a moving target. Motor skill was not correlated with saccade amplitude variability. However, regression analyses revealed that motor skill (and not diagnosis) accounted for variance in fixation performance and fast smooth pursuit. Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of considering oculomotor paradigms to inform the functional impact of neuropathologies in ASD and also assessing the presentation of co-occurring difficulties to further our understanding ofASD. Avenues for future research are suggested.
Simon P Tiffin-Richards; Sascha Schroeder
In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 46 (9), pp. 1701–1713, 2020.
Words are seldom read in isolation. Predicting or anticipating upcoming words in a text, based on the context in which they are read, is an important aspect of efficient language processing. In sentence reading, words with congruent preceding context have been shown to be processed faster than words read in neutral or incongruous contexts. The onset of contextual facilitation effects is found very early in the first-pass-reading eye-movement and electroencephalogram (EEG) measures of skilled adult readers. However, the effect of contextual facilitation on children's eye movements during reading remains largely unexplored. To fill this gap, we tracked children's and adults' eye movements while reading stories with embedded words that were either strongly or weakly related to a clear narrative theme. Our central finding is that children showed late contextual facilitation effects during text reading as opposed to both early and late facilitation effects found in skilled adult readers. Contextual constraint had a similar effect on children's and adults' initiation of regressive saccades, whereas children invested more time in rereading relative to adults after encountering weakly contextually constrained words. Quantile regression analyses revealed that contextual facilitation effects had an early onset in adults' first-pass reading, whereas they only had a late onset in children's gaze durations.
Liis Uiga; Catherine M Capio; Donghyun Ryu; William R Young; Mark R Wilson; Thomson W L Wong; Andy C Y Tse; Rich S W Masters
In: Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 75 (2), pp. 282–292, 2020.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the association between conscious monitoring and control of movements (i.e., movement-specific reinvestment) and visuomotor control during walking by older adults. Method: The Movement-Specific Reinvestment Scale (MSRS) was administered to 92 community-dwelling older adults, aged 65-81 years, who were required to walk along a 4.8-m walkway and step on the middle of a target as accurately as possible. Participants' movement kinematics and gaze behavior were measured during approach to the target and when stepping on it. Results: High scores on the MSRS were associated with prolonged stance and double support times during approach to the stepping target, and less accurate foot placement when stepping on the target. No associations between MSRS and gaze behavior were observed. Discussion: Older adults with a high propensity for movement-specific reinvestment seem to need more time to "plan" future stepping movements, yet show worse stepping accuracy than older adults with a low propensity for movement-specific reinvestment. Future research should examine whether older adults with a higher propensity for reinvestment are more likely to display movement errors that lead to falling.
Layla Unger; Olivera Savic; Vladimir M Sloutsky
In: Cognition, 198 , pp. 1–17, 2020.
Our knowledge about the world is represented not merely as a collection of concepts, but as an organized lexico-semantic network in which concepts can be linked by relations, such as “taxonomic” relations between members of the same stable category (e.g., cat and sheep), or association between entities that occur together or in the same context (e.g., sock and foot). To date, accounts of the origins of semantic organization have largely overlooked how sensitivity to statistical regularities ubiquitous in the environment may play a powerful role in shaping semantic development. The goal of the present research was to investigate how associations in the form of statistical regularities with which labels for concepts co-occur in language (e.g., sock and foot) and taxonomic relatedness (e.g., sock and pajamas) shape semantic organization of 4–5-year-olds and adults. To examine these aspects of semantic organization across development, we conducted three experiments examining effects of co-occurrence and taxonomic relatedness on cued recall (Experiment 1), word-picture matching (Experiment 2), and looking dynamics in a Visual World paradigm (Experiment 3). Taken together, the results of the three experiments provide evidence that co-occurrence-based links between concepts manifest in semantic organization from early childhood onward, and are increasingly supplemented by taxonomic links. We discuss these findings in relation to theories of semantic development.
Jingxin Wang; Fang Xie; Liyuan He; Katie L Meadmore; Kevin B Paterson; Valerie Benson
In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73 (11), pp. 1921–1929, 2020.
The “positivity effect” (PE) reflects an age-related increase in the preference for positive over negative information in attention and memory. The present experiment investigated whether Chinese and UK participants produce a similar PE. In one experiment, we presented pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral pictures simultaneously and participants decided which picture they liked or disliked on a third of trials, respectively. We recorded participants' eye movements during this task and compared time looking at, and memory for, pictures. The results suggest that older but not younger adults from both China and UK participant groups showed a preference to focus on and remember pleasant pictures, providing evidence of a PE in both cultures. Bayes Factor analysis supported these observations. These findings are consistent with the view that older people preferentially focus on positive emotional information, and that this effect is observed cross-culturally.
Quan Wang; Joseph Chang; Katarzyna Chawarska
In: JAMA Neetwork Open, 3 (5), pp. e204928, 2020.
Importance: Enhanced selective attention toward nonsocial objects and impaired attention to social stimuli constitute key clinical features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Yet, the mechanisms associated with atypical selective attention in ASD are poorly understood, which limits the development of more effective interventions. In typically developing individuals, selective attention to social and nonsocial stimuli is associated with the informational value of the stimuli, which is typically learned over the course of repeated interactions with the stimuli. Objective: To examine value learning (VL) of social and nonsocial stimuli and its association with selective attention in preschoolers with and without ASD. Design, Setting, and Participants: This case-control study compared children with ASD vs children with developmental delay (DD) and children with typical development (TD) recruited between March 3, 2017, and June 13, 2018, at a university-based research laboratory. Participants were preschoolers with ASD, DD, or TD. Main Outcomes and Measures: Procedure consisted of an eye-tracking gaze-contingent VL task involving social (faces) and nonsocial (fractals) stimuli and consisting of baseline, training, and choice test phases. Outcome measures were preferential attention to stimuli reinforced (high value) vs not reinforced (low value) during training. The hypotheses were stated before data collection. Results: Included were 115 preschoolers with ASD (n = 48; mean [SD] age, 38.30 [15.55] months; 37 [77%] boys), DD (n = 31; mean [SD] age, 45.73 [19.49] months; 19 [61%] boys), or TD (n = 36; mean [SD] age, 36.53 [12.39] months; 22 [61%] boys). The groups did not differ in sex distribution; participants with ASD or TD had similar chronological age; and participants with ASD or DD had similar verbal IQ and nonverbal IQ. After training, the ASD group showed preference for the high-value nonsocial stimuli (mean proportion, 0.61 [95% CI, 0.56-0.65]; P textless .001) but not for the high-value social stimuli (mean proportion, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.46-0.56]; P = .58). In contrast, the DD and TD groups demonstrated preference for the high-value social stimuli (DD mean proportion, 0.59 [95% CI, 0.54-0.64]; P = .001 and TD mean proportion, 0.57 [95% CI, 0.53-0.61]; P = .002) but not for the high-value nonsocial stimuli (DD mean proportion, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.44-0.59]; P = .64 and TD mean proportion, 0.50 [95% CI, 0.44-0.57]; P = .91). Controlling for age and nonverbal IQ, autism severity was positively correlated with enhanced learning in the nonsocial domain (r = 0.22; P = .03) and with poorer learning in the social domain (r = -0.26; P = .01). Conclusions and Relevance: Increased attention to objects in preschoolers with ASD may be associated with enhanced VL in the nonsocial domain. When paired with poor VL in the social domain, enhanced value-driven attention to objects may play a formative role in the emergence of autism symptoms by altering attentional priorities and thus learning opportunities in affected children.
Nicole Wetzel; Wolfgang Einhäuser; Andreas Widmann
In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 192 , pp. 1–18, 2020.
Episodic memory, the ability to remember past events in time and place, develops during childhood. Much knowledge about the underlying neuronal mechanisms has been gained from methods not suitable for children. We applied pupillometry to study memory encoding and recognition mechanisms. Children aged 8 and 9 years (n = 24) and adults (n = 24) studied a set of visual scenes to later distinguish them from new pictures. Children performed worse than adults, demonstrating immature episodic memory. During memorization, picture-related changes in pupil diameter predicted later successful recognition. This prediction effect was also observed on a single-trial level. During retrieval, novel pictures showed stronger pupil constriction than familiar pictures in both age groups. The statistically independent effects of objective familiarity (previously presented pictures) versus subjective familiarity (pictures evaluated as familiar independent of the prior presentation) suggest dissociable underlying brain mechanisms. In addition, we isolated principal components of the picture-related pupil response that were differently affected by the memorization and retrieval effects. Results are discussed in the context of the maturation of the medial temporal lobe and prefrontal networks. Our results demonstrate the dissociation of distinct contributions to episodic memory with a psychophysiological method that is suitable for a wide age spectrum.
Chao Jung Wu; Chia Yu Liu; Chung Hsuan Yang; Yu Cin Jian
In: European Journal of Psychology of Education, pp. 1–18, 2020.
Despite decades of research on the close link between eye movements and human cognitive processes, the exact nature of the link between eye movements and deliberative thinking in problem-solving remains unknown. Thus, this study explored the critical eye-movement indicators of deliberative thinking and investigated whether visual behaviors could predict performance on arithmetic word problems of various difficulties. An eye tracker and test were employed to collect 69 sixth-graders' eye-movement behaviors and responses. No significant difference was found between the successful and unsuccessful groups on the simple problems, but on the difficult problems, the successful problem-solvers demonstrated significantly greater gaze aversion, longer fixations, and spontaneous reflections. Notably, the model incorporating RT-TFD, NOF of 500 ms, and pupil size indicators could best predict participants' performance, with an overall hit rate of 74%, rising to 80% when reading comprehension screening test scores were included. These results reveal the solvers' engagement strategies or show that successful problem-solvers were well aware of problem difficulty and could regulate their cognitive resources efficiently. This study sheds light on the development of an adapted learning system with embedded eye tracking to further predict students' visual behaviors, provide real-time feedback, and improve their problem-solving performance.
Jordana S Wynn; Jennifer D Ryan; Morris Moscovitch
In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 149 (3), pp. 518–529, 2020.
In our daily lives we rely on prior knowledge to make predictions about the world around us such as where to search for and locate common objects. Yet, equally important in visual search is the ability to inhibit such processes when those predictions fail. Mounting evidence suggests that relative to younger adults, older adults have difficulty retrieving episodic memories and inhibiting prior knowledge, even when that knowledge is detrimental to the task at hand. However, the consequences of these age-related changes for visual search remain unclear. In the present study, we used eye movement monitoring to investigate whether overreliance on prior knowledge alters the gaze patterns and performance of older adults during visual search. Younger and older adults searched for target objects in congruent or incongruent locations in real-world scenes. As predicted, targets in congruent locations were detected faster than targets in incongruent locations, and this effect was enhanced in older adults. Analysis of viewing behavior revealed that prior knowledge effects emerged early in search, as evidenced by initial saccades, and continued throughout search, with greater viewing of congruent regions by older relative to younger adults, suggesting that schema biasing of online processing increases with age. Finally, both younger and older adults showed enhanced memory for the location of congruent targets and the identity of incongruent targets, with schema-guided viewing during search predicting poor memory for schema-incongruent targets in younger adults on both tasks. Our results provide novel evidence that older adults' overreliance on prior knowledge has consequences for both active vision and memory.
Fang Xie; Jingxin Wang; Lisha Hao; Xue Zhang; Kayleigh L Warrington
In: Psychology and Aging, 2020.
Research suggests that visual acuity plays a more important role in parafoveal processing in Chinese reading than in spaced alphabetic languages, such that in Chinese, as the font size increases, the size of the perceptual span decreases. The lack of spaces and the complexity of written Chinese may make characters in eccentric positions particularly hard to process. Older adults generally have poorer visual capabilities than young adults, particularly in parafoveal vision, and so may find large characters in the parafovea particularly hard to process compared with smaller characters because of their greater eccentricity. Therefore, the effect of font size on the perceptual span may be larger for older readers. Crucially, this possibility has not previously been investigated; however, this may represent a unique source of age-related reading difficulty in logographic languages. Accordingly, to explore the relationship between font size and parafoveal processing for both older and young adult readers, we manipulated font size and the amount of parafoveal information available with different masking stimuli in 2 silent-reading experiments. The results show that decreasing the font size disrupted reading behavior more for older readers, such that reading times were longer for smaller characters, but crucially, the influence of font size on the perceptual span was absent for both age groups. These findings provide new insight into age-related reading difficulty in Chinese by revealing that older adults can successfully process substantial parafoveal information across a range of font sizes. This indicates that older adults' parafoveal processing may be more robust than previously considered.
Ming Yan; Hong Li; Yongqiang Su; Yuqing Cao; Jinger Pan
In: Scientific Studies of Reading, 24 (6), pp. 520–530, 2020.
In the present study, we explored the perceptual span of typically developing Chinese children in Grade 3 (G3) during their reading of age-appropriate sentences, utilizing the gaze contingent moving window paradigm. Overall, these Chinese children had a smaller perceptual span than adults, covering only one character leftward and two characters rightward of the currently fixated one. In addition, individual differences in reading ability (i.e., number of characters correctly read aloud per minute) influenced the size of the perceptual span. Fluent readers' reading and eye-movement parameters benefited from previewing the third upcoming characters, whereas non-fluent readers reached their asymptotic performances in a smaller window revealing rightwards by only two characters. These results suggest that the perceptual span is modulated dynamically by reading ability. Non-fluent readers need to focus their attention on foveal words, leading to narrowed perceptual span and reduced parafoveal processing.
Li Zhang; Guoli Yan; Li Zhou; Zebo Lan; Valerie Benson
In: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 50 , pp. 500–512, 2020.
The current study examined eye movement control in autistic (ASD) children. Simple targets were presented in isolation, or with central, parafoveal, or peripheral distractors synchronously. Sixteen children with ASD (47–81 months) and nineteen age and IQ matched typically developing children were instructed to look to the target as accurately and quickly as possible. Both groups showed high proportions (40%) of saccadic errors towards parafoveal and peripheral distractors. For correctly executed eye movements to the targets, centrally presented distractors produced the longest latencies (time taken to initiate eye movements), followed by parafoveal and peripheral distractor conditions. Central distractors had a greater effect in the ASD group, indicating evidence for potential atypical voluntary attentional control in ASD children.
Peng Zhou; Weiyi Ma; Likan Zhan
In: First Language, 40 (1), pp. 41–63, 2020.
The present study investigated whether Mandarin-speaking preschool children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were able to use prosodic cues to understand others' communicative intentions. Using the visual world eye-tracking paradigm, the study found that unlike typically developing (TD) 4-year-olds, both 4-year-olds with ASD and 5-year-olds with ASD exhibited an eye gaze pattern that reflected their inability to use prosodic cues to infer the intended meaning of the speaker. Their performance was relatively independent of their verbal IQ and mean length of utterance. In addition, the findings also show that there was no development in this ability from 4 years of age to 5 years of age. The findings indicate that Mandarin-speaking preschool children with ASD exhibit a deficit in using prosodic cues to understand the communicative intentions of the speaker, and this ability might be inherently impaired in ASD.
Vladislav I Zubov; Tatiana E Petrova
In: Procedia Computer Science, 176 , pp. 2117–2124, 2020.
This article presents the results of an eye-tracking experiment on Russian language material, exploring the reading process in secondary school children with general speech underdevelopment. The objective of the study is to reveal what type of a text is better to use to make the reading and comprehension easier: lexically adapted text or grammatically adapted text? The data from Russian-speaking participants from the compulsory school (experimental group) and 28 secondary school children with normal speech development (control group) indicate that both types of adaptation proved to be efficient for recalling the information from the text. Though, we revealed that in teenagers with language disorders in anamnesis lower perceptual processes are partially compensated (parameters of eye movements), but higher comprehension processes remain affected.
Rany Abend; Mira A Bajaj; Chika Matsumoto; Marissa Yetter; Anita Harrewijn; Elise M Cardinale; Katharina Kircanski; Eli R Lebowitz; Wendy K Silverman; Yair Bar-Haim; Amit Lazarov; Ellen Leibenluft; Melissa Brotman; Daniel S Pine
In: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, pp. 1–14, 2020.
This report examines the relationship between pediatric anxiety disorders and implicit bias evoked by threats. To do so, the report uses two tasks that assess implicit bias to negative-valence faces, the first by eye-gaze and the second by measuring body-movement parameters. The report contrasts task performance in 51 treatment-seeking, medication-free pediatric patients with anxiety disorders and 36 healthy peers. Among these youth, 53 completed an eye-gaze task, 74 completed a body-movement task, and 40 completed both tasks. On the eye-gaze task, patients displayed longer gaze duration on negative relative to non-negative valence faces than healthy peers, F(1, 174) = 8.27
Anthony J Lambert; Tanvi Sharma; Nathan Ryckman
In: Vision, 4 , pp. 1–13, 2020.
Many accidents, such as those involving collisions or trips, appear to involve failures of vision, but the association between accident risk and vision as conventionally assessed is weak or absent. We addressed this conundrum by embracing the distinction inspired by neuroscientific research, between vision for perception and vision for action. A dual-process perspective predicts that accident vulnerability will be associated more strongly with vision for action than vision for perception. In this preliminary investigation, older and younger adults, with relatively high and relatively low self-reported accident vulnerability (Accident Proneness Questionnaire), completed three behavioural assessments targeting vision for perception (Freiburg Visual Acuity Test); vision for action (Vision for Action Test—VAT); and the ability to perform physical actions involving balance, walking and standing (Short Physical Performance Battery). Accident vulnerability was not associated with visual acuity or with performance of physical actions but was associated with VAT performance. VAT assesses the ability to link visual input with a specific action—launching a saccadic eye movement as rapidly as possible, in response to shapes presented in peripheral vision. The predictive relationship between VAT performance and accident vulnerability was independent of age, visual acuity and physical performance scores. Applied implications of these findings are considered.
Nicolas Chevalier; Julie Anne Meaney; Hilary Joy Traut; Yuko Munakata
In: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 46 , pp. 1–11, 2020.
Age-related progress in cognitive control reflects more frequent engagement of proactive control during childhood. As proactive preparation for an upcoming task is adaptive only when the task can be reliably predicted, progress in proactive control engagement may rely on more efficient use of contextual cue reliability. Developmental progress may also reflect increasing efficiency in how proactive control is engaged, making this control mode more advantageous with age. To address these possibilities, 6-year-olds, 9-year-olds, and adults completed three versions of a cued task-switching paradigm in which contextual cue reliability was manipulated. When contextual cues were reliable (but not unreliable or uninformative), all age groups showed greater pupil dilation and a more pronounced (pre)cue-locked posterior positivity associated with faster response times, suggesting adaptive engagement of proactive task selection. However, adults additionally showed a larger contingent negative variation (CNV) predicting a further reduction in response times with reliable cues, suggesting motor preparation in adults but not children. Thus, early developing use of contextual cue reliability promotes adaptiveness in proactive control engagement from early childhood; yet, less efficient motor preparation in children makes this control mode overall less advantageous in childhood than adulthood.
Jetro J Tuulari; Eeva Leena Kataja; Jukka M Leppänen; John D Lewis; Saara Nolvi; Tuomo Häikiö; Satu J Lehtola; Niloofar Hashempour; Jani Saunavaara; Noora M Scheinin; Riikka Korja; Linnea Karlsson; Hasse Karlsson
In: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 45 , pp. 1–8, 2020.
After 5 months of age, infants begin to prioritize attention to fearful over other facial expressions. One key proposition is that amygdala and related early-maturing subcortical network, is important for emergence of this attentional bias – however, empirical data to support these assertions are lacking. In this prospective longitudinal study, we measured amygdala volumes from MR images in 65 healthy neonates at 2–5 weeks of gestation corrected age and attention disengagement from fearful vs. non-fearful facial expressions at 8 months with eye tracking. Overall, infants were less likely to disengage from fearful than happy/neutral faces, demonstrating an age-typical bias for fear. Left, but not right, amygdala volume (corrected for intracranial volume) was positively associated with the likelihood of disengaging attention from fearful faces to a salient lateral distractor (r =.302
Ross Macdonald; Silke Brandt; Anna Theakston; Elena Lieven; Ludovica Serratrice
In: Cognitive Science, 44 (8), pp. 1–35, 2020.
Subject relative clauses (SRCs) are typically processed more easily than object relative clauses (ORCs), but this difference is diminished by an inanimate head-noun in semantically non-reversible ORCs (“The book that the boy is reading”). In two eye-tracking experiments, we investigated the influence of animacy on online processing of semantically reversible SRCs and ORCs using lexically inanimate items that were perceptually animate due to motion (e.g., “Where is the tractor that the cow is chasing”). In Experiment 1, 48 children (aged 4;5–6;4) and 32 adults listened to sentences that varied in the lexical animacy of the NP1 head-noun (Animate/Inanimate) and relative clause (RC) type (SRC/ORC) with an animate NP2 while viewing two images depicting opposite actions. As expected, inanimate head-nouns facilitated the correct interpretation of ORCs in children; however, online data revealed children were more likely to anticipate an SRC as the RC unfolded when an inanimate head-noun was used, suggesting processing was sensitive to perceptual animacy. In Experiment 2, we repeated our design with inanimate (rather than animate) NP2s (e.g., “where is the tractor that the car is following”) to investigate whether our online findings were due to increased visual surprisal at an inanimate as agent, or to similarity-based interference. We again found greater anticipation for an SRC in the inanimate condition, supporting our surprisal hypothesis. Across the experiments, offline measures show that lexical animacy influenced children's interpretation of ORCs, whereas online measures reveal that as RCs unfolded, children were sensitive to the perceptual animacy of lexically inanimate NPs, which was not reflected in the offline data. Overall measures of syntactic comprehension, inhibitory control, and verbal short-term memory and working memory were not predictive of children's accuracy in RC interpretation, with the exception of a positive correlation with a standardized measure of syntactic comprehension in Experiment 1.
Laura Maffongelli; Sabine Öhlschläger; Melissa Lê-Hoa Võ
In: Collabra: Psychology, 6 (1), pp. 1–8, 2020.
Finding a bottle of milk in the bathroom would probably be quite surprising to most of us. Such a surprised reaction is driven by our strong expectations, learned through experience, that a bottle of milk belongs in the kitchen. Our environment is not randomly organized but governed by regularities that allow us to predict what objects can be found in which types of scene. These scene semantics are thought to play an important role in the recognition of objects. But when during development are the semantic predictions so far implemented that such scene-object inconsistencies would lead to semantic processing difficulties? Here we investigated how toddlers perceive their environments, and what expectations govern their attention and perception. To this aim, we used a purely visual paradigm in an ERP experiment and presented 24-month-olds with familiar scenes in which either a semantically consistent or an inconsistent object would appear. The scene-inconsistency effect has been previously studied in adults by means of the N400, a neural marker responding to semantic inconsistencies across many types of stimuli. Our results show that semantic object-scene inconsistencies indeed elicited an enhanced N400 over the left anterior brain region between 750 and 1150 ms post stimulus onset. This modulation of the N400 marker provides first indications that by the age of two toddlers have already established their scene semantics allowing them to detect a purely visual, semantic object-scene inconsistency. Our data suggest the presence of specific semantic knowledge regarding what objects occur in a certain scene category.
Konstantinos Mantantzis; Friederike Schlaghecken; Elizabeth A Maylor
In: Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 75 (8), pp. 1679–1688, 2020.
Objectives: The ability to produce situation-appropriate cognitive and emotional responses is dependent on autonomic nervous system (ANS) functionality. Heart rate variability (HRV) is an index of ANS functionality, and resting HRV levels have been associated with cognitive control and inhibitory capacity in young adults, particularly when faced with emotional information. As older adults' greater preference for positive and avoidance of negative stimuli (positivity effect) is thought to be dependent on cognitive control, we hypothesized that HRV could predict positivity-effect magnitude in older adults. Method: We measured resting-level HRV and gaze preference for happy and angry (relative to neutral) faces in 63 young and 62 older adults. Results: Whereas young adults showed no consistent preference for happy or angry faces, older adults showed the expected positivity effect, which predominantly manifested as negativity avoidance rather than positivity preference. Crucially, older but not young adults showed an association between HRV and gaze preference, with higher levels of HRV being specifically associated with stronger negativity avoidance. Discussion: This is the first study to demonstrate a link between older adults' ANS functionality and their avoidance of negative information. Increasing the efficiency of the cardiovascular system might selectively improve older adults' ability to disregard negative influences.
Paola Mengotti; Anna B Kuhns; Gereon R Fink; Simone Vossel
In: Psychological Research, 84 (5), pp. 1387–1399, 2020.
Predicting upcoming events using past observations is a crucial component of an efficient allocation of attentional resources. Therefore, the deployment of attention is sensitive to different types of cues predicting upcoming events. Here we investigated probabilistic inference abilities in spatial and feature-based attentional, as well as in motor-intentional subsystems, focusing specifically on the age-related changes in these abilities. In two behavioral experiments, younger and older adults (20 younger and 20 older adults for each experiment) performed three versions of a cueing paradigm, where spatial, feature, or motor cues predicted the location, color, or motor response of a target stimulus. The percentage of cue validity (i.e., the probability of the cue being valid) changed over time, thereby creating a volatile environment. A Bayesian hierarchical model was used to estimate trial-wise beliefs concerning the cue validity from reaction times and to derive a subject-specific belief updating parameter $ømega$ in each task version. We also manipulated task difficulty: participants performed an easier version of the task in Experiment 1 and a more difficult version in Experiment 2. Results from Experiment 1 suggested a preserved ability of older adults to use the three different cues to generate predictions. However, the increased task demands of Experiment 2 uncovered a difference in belief updating between the two age groups, indicating moderate evidence for a reduction of the ability to update predictions with motor intention cues in older adults. These results point at a distinction of attentional and motor-intentional subsystems, with age-related differences tackling especially the motor-intentional subsystem.
F M Merced-Nieves; A Aguiar; K L C Dzwilewski; S Musaad; S A Korrick; S L Schantz
In: Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 77 , pp. 1–7, 2020.
Maternal prenatal stress can adversely impact subsequent child neurodevelopment, but little is known about its effect on cognitive development in infancy. This analysis of 107 infants from a prospective birth cohort assessed whether prenatal stress disrupts sexually dimorphic performance typically observed on a physical reasoning task. Maternal stress was assessed at 8–14 and 33–37 gestational weeks using the Perceived Stress Scale. Stress was defined as: low (scores below the median at both times), medium (scores above the median at one of the two times), and high (scores above the median at both times). At 4.5 months infants saw videos of two events: one impossible and the other possible. In the impossible event a box was placed against a wall without support underneath. In the possible event the box was placed against the wall, supported by the floor. Looking time at each event was recorded via infrared eye-tracking. Previous literature has shown that, at 4.5 months of age, girls typically look significantly longer at the impossible than at the possible event, suggesting that they expect the unsupported box to fall and are surprised when it does not. Boys tend to look equally at the two events suggesting that they do not share this expectation. This sex difference was replicated in the current study. General linear models stratified by sex and adjusted for household income, maternal education, mother's age at birth, infant's age at exam, and order of event presentation revealed that girls whose mothers reported high perceived stress during pregnancy had shorter looking time differences between the impossible and possible events than girls whose mothers reported low perceived stress ($beta$ = −7.1; 95% CI: −12.0, −2.2 s; p = 0.006). Similar to boys, girls in the highest stress category spent about the same amount of time looking at each event. For boys, there were no significant looking time differences by maternal stress level. This finding suggests prenatal stress is associated with a delay in the development of physical reasoning in girls.
Francheska M Merced-Nieves; Kelsey L C Dzwilewski; Andrea Aguiar; Jue Lin; Susan L Schantz
In: Developmental Psychobiology, pp. 1–13, 2020.
Studies have shown that prenatal stress can negatively impact neurodevelopment, but little is known about its effect on early cognitive development. We assessed the impact of prenatal stress on cognition in 152 7.5-month-old infants using Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), maternal telomere length (MTL), and a Stressful Life Events (SLE) Scale. A visual recognition memory task consisting of nine blocks, each with one familiarization trial (two identical stimuli) followed by two test trials (one familiar stimulus, one novel), was administered. Outcomes assessed included: average time looking at stimuli (measure: processing speed), time to reach looking time criterion (measure: attention), and the proportion of time looking at the novel stimulus (measure: recognition memory). We examined the association of each stress measure with each outcome adjusted for infant age and sex, which of the two stimuli in each set was novel, household income, and maternal age, education, and IQ. Higher prenatal stress was associated with shorter looking durations [PSS ($beta$ = −1.6, 95% CI: −2.5, −0.58); SLE ($beta$ = 0.58, 95% CI: −0.08, 1.24); MTL ($beta$ = 1.81, 95% CI: 0.18, 3.44)] and longer time to reach criterion [PSS ($beta$ = 9.1, 95% CI: 1.6, 16.6); SLE ($beta$ = 12.2, 95% CI: 1.9, 24.1); MTL ($beta$ = −23.1, 95% CI: −45.3, −0.9)], suggesting that higher prenatal stress is associated with decreased visual attention in infancy.
Sara V Milledge; Hazel I Blythe; Simon P Liversedge
In: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, pp. 1–12, 2020.
Although previous research has demonstrated that for adults external letters of words are more important than internal letters for lexical processing during reading, no comparable research has been conducted with children. This experiment explored, using the boundary paradigm during silent sentence reading, whether parafoveal pre-processing in English is more affected by the manipulation of external letters or internal letters, and whether this differs between skilled adult and beginner child readers. Six previews were generated: identity (e.g., monkey); external letter manipulations where either the beginning three letters of the word were substituted (e.g., rackey) or the last three letters of the word were substituted (e.g., monhig); internal letter manipulations; e.g., machey, mochiy); and an unrelated control condition (e.g., rachig). Results indicate that both adults and children undertook pre-processing of words in their entirety in the parafovea, and that the manipulation of external letters in preview was more harmful to participants' parafoveal pre-processing than internal letters. The data also suggest developmental change in the time course of pre-processing, with children's pre-processing delayed compared to that of adults. These results not only provide further evidence for the importance of external letters to parafoveal processing and lexical identification for adults, but also demonstrate that such findings can be extended to children.
Francisco J Moreno-Pérez; Isabel R Rodríguez-Ortiz; Gema Tavares; David Saldaña
In: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 55 (6), pp. 884–898, 2020.
Background: It has been established that people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have difficulties understanding spoken language. Understanding reflexive and clitic pronouns is vital to establishing reference-based inference, but it is as yet unclear whether such constructions pose specific difficulties for those with ASD. Pronoun interpretation seems be connected to the development of pragmatic abilities, and can therefore be considered a plausible marker in the differential diagnosis between ASD and developmental language disorder (DLD). Aims: To establish whether or not there are differences between ASD and DLD in relation to their understanding of pronoun constructions (both reflexive and clitic). The working hypothesis was that although no differences were expected between groups in relation to automatic (online) pronoun processing, the comprehension of reflexive pronouns would constitute a diagnostic marker between the group with ASD and language disorder and the DLD group. Methods & Procedures: The study carried out two experiments with three clinical groups (two with ASD and different levels of language proficiency and one with DLD) and two control groups with typically developing people (with equivalent language levels), analysing their on- and offline processing in pronoun resolution tasks. The first experiment uses an online method (eye-tracking) to record pronoun processing in real time. The second uses an offline method to analyse comprehension accuracy. Outcomes & Results: The results of the two experiments indicated no differences in the way in which the clinical and control groups resolved the tasks, but a shorter reaction time was observed only in the age-matched control group in comparison with the ASD group without language disorder in the first experiment, perhaps due to the fact that processing pronouns involves a greater cognitive load among the latter group. Conclusions & Implications: The comprehension of reflexive pronouns cannot be considered a diagnostic marker for distinguishing ASD from DLD. What this paper adds What is already known on the subject Previous studies have found that the performance of children with ASD in the comprehension of personal pronouns is equivalent to youngest control groups, but poorer regarding the interpretation of reflective pronouns. However, children with DLD do not usually have problems with the use of pronouns, which suggests that their pronoun processing is not affected. As pronoun interpretation seems be connected to the development of pragmatic abilities, it could be considered a plausible marker in the differential diagnosis between ASD and DLD. What this paper adds to existing knowledge This paper presents the results of two experiments involving pronoun processing by those with ASD (both with and without language disorder) and those with DLD. The design enables us to analyse the reflexive and clitic pronoun processing in people with ASD and DLD, regardless of their language proficiency. One experiment uses an eye-tracking methodology that allows us to obtain data about how the pronouns are processed in real time. It represents an attempt to identify language markers that may help distinguish between the two groups and adapt the interventions to the specific problems experienced by each one. What are the potential or actual clinical implications of this work? The results indicate that it is not possible to identify any specific impairment in pronoun processing among the clinical groups (ASD and DLD).
Dinavahi V P S Murty; Keerthana Manikandan; Wupadrasta Santosh Kumar; Ranjini Garani Ramesh; Simran Purokayastha; Mahendra Javali; Naren Prahalada Rao; Supratim Ray
In: NeuroImage, 215 , pp. 1–14, 2020.
Gamma rhythms (~20–70 Hz) are abnormal in mental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia in humans, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) models in rodents. However, the effect of normal aging on these oscillations is unknown, especially for elderly subjects in whom AD is most prevalent. In a first large-scale (236 subjects; 104 females) electroencephalogram (EEG) study on gamma oscillations in elderly subjects (aged 50–88 years), we presented full-screen visual Cartesian gratings that induced two distinct gamma oscillations (slow: 20–34 Hz and fast: 36–66 Hz). Power decreased with age for gamma, but not alpha (8–12 Hz). Reduction was more salient for fast gamma than slow. Center frequency also decreased with age for both gamma rhythms. The results were independent of microsaccades, pupillary reactivity to stimulus, and variations in power spectral density with age. Steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) at 32 Hz also reduced with age. These results are crucial for developing gamma/SSVEP-based biomarkers of cognitive decline in elderly.
A Nuthmann; I Schütz; W Einhäuser
In: Scientific Reports, 10 , pp. 1–18, 2020.
Whether fixation selection in real‑world scenes is guided by image salience or by objects has been a matter of scientific debate. To contrast the two views, we compared effects of location‑based and object‑based visual salience in young and older (65 + years) adults. Generalized linear mixed models were used to assess the unique contribution of salience to fixation selection in scenes. When analysing fixation guidance without recurrence to objects, visual salience predicted whether image patches were fixated or not. This effect was reduced for the elderly, replicating an earlier finding. When using objects as the unit of analysis, we found that highly salient objects were more frequently selected for fixation than objects with low visual salience. Interestingly, this effect was larger for older adults. We also analysed where viewers fixate within objects, once they are selected. A preferred viewing location close to the centre of the object was found for both age groups. The results support the view that objects are important units of saccadic selection. Reconciling the salience view with the object view, we suggest that visual salience contributes to prioritization among objects. Moreover, the data point towards an increasing relevance of object‑bound information with increasing age.
Marissa Ogren; Scott P Johnson
In: Cognition and Emotion, 34 (7), pp. 1343–1356, 2020.
Emotion understanding is a crucial skill for early social development, yet little is known regarding longitudinal development of this skill from infancy to early childhood. To address this issue, the present longitudinal study followed 40 participants from 9 to 30 months. Intermodal emotion matching was assessed using eye tracking at 9, 15, and 21 months, and emotion understanding was measured using the Affective Knowledge Test at 30 months of age. A novelty preference on the emotion matching task at 15 months (but not at 9 or 21 months) significantly predicted emotion understanding performance at 30 months. However, linear and quadratic trajectories for emotion matching development across 9- to 21-months did not predict later emotion understanding. No gender differences were observed in emotion matching or emotion understanding. These results hold implications for better understanding how infant emotion matching may relate to later emotion understanding, and the role that infant emotion perception may play in early emotional development.
Jessica L O'Rielly; Anna Ma-Wyatt
In: Journal of Vision, 20 (13), pp. 1–17, 2020.
Goal-directed movements rely on the integration of both visual and motor information, especially during the online control of movement, to fluidly and flexibly control coordinated action. Eye-hand coordination typically plays an important role in goal-directed movements. As people age, various aspects of motor control and visual performance decline (Haegerstrom-Portnoy, Schneck, & Brabyn, 1999; Seidler et al., 2010), including an increase in saccade latencies (Munoz, Broughton, Goldring, & Armstrong, 1998). However, there is limited insight into how age-related changes in saccadic performance impact eye-hand coordination during online control. We investigated this question through the use of a target perturbation paradigm. Older and younger participants completed a perturbation task where target perturbations could occur either early (0 ms) or later (200 ms) after reach onset. We analyzed reach correction latencies and the frequency of the reach correction, coupled with analyses of saccades across all stages of movement. Older participants had slower correction latencies and initiated corrections less frequently compared to younger participants, with this trend being exacerbated in the later (200 ms) target perturbation condition. Older participants also produced slower saccade latencies toward both the initial target and the perturbed target. For trials in which a correction occurred to a late perturbation, touch responses were more accurate when there was more time between the saccade landing and the touch. Altogether, our results suggest that these age-related effects may be due to the delayed acquisition of visual and oculomotor information used to inform the reaching movement, stemming from the increase in saccade latencies before and after target perturbation.
Ascensión Pagán; Megan Bird; Yaling Hsiao; Kate Nation
In: Scientific Studies of Reading, 24 (4), pp. 356–364, 2020.
Semantic diversity–a metric that captures variations in previous contextual experience with a word–influences children's lexical decision and reading aloud. We investigated the effects of semantic diversity and frequency on children's reading of words embedded in sentences, while eye movements were recorded. If semantic diversity and frequency reflect different aspects of experience that influence reading in different ways, they should show independent effects and perhaps even different processing signatures during reading. Forty-nine 9-year-olds read sentences containing high/low frequency and high/low diversity words, manipulated orthogonally. We observed main effects of both variables, with high frequency and high semantic diversity words being read more easily. These results show that variations in the amount and nature of contextual experience influence how easily words are processed during reading.
Jinger Pan; Miaomiao Liu; Hong Li; Ming Yan
In: Reading and Writing, pp. 1–15, 2020.
Word boundary information is not marked explicitly in Chinese sentences and word ambiguity happens in Chinese texts. This introduces difficulty to parse characters into words when reading Chinese sentences, especially for beginning readers. In an eye-tracking study, we tested whether explicit word boundary information as provided by alternating text-colors affects reading performance of Chinese children and how such an effect is influenced by individual differences in word segmentation ability. Results showed that across a number of eye-movement measures, grade three children overall benefited from explicit marking of word boundary. Additionally, children with highest word segmentation ability showed the largest benefits in reading speed. We discuss possible implications for education.
Adam J Parker; Julie A Kirkby; Timothy J Slattery
Undersweep fixations during reading in adults and children Journal Article
In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 192 , pp. 1–23, 2020.
Return sweeps take a reader's fixation from the end of one line to the start of the next. Return sweeps frequently undershoot their target and are followed by a corrective saccade toward the left margin. The pauses prior to corrective saccades are typically considered to be uninvolved in linguistic processing. However, recent findings indicate that these undersweep fixations influence skilled adult readers' subsequent reading pass across the line and provide a preview of line-initial words. The current research examined these effects in children. First, a children's reading corpus analysis revealed that words receiving an undersweep fixation were more likely skipped and received shorter gaze durations during a subsequent pass. Second, a novel eye movement experiment that directly compared adults' and children's eye movements indicated that, during an undersweep fixation, readers very briefly allocate their attention to the fixated word—as indicated by inhibition of return effects during a subsequent pass—prior to deploying attention toward the line-initial word. We argue that prior to the redeployment of attention, readers extract information at the point of fixation that facilitates later encoding and saccade targeting. Given similar patterns of results for adults and children, we conclude that the mechanisms controlling for oculomotor coordination and attention necessary for reading across line boundaries are established from a very early point in reading development.
Salome Pedrett; Lea Kaspar; Andrea Frick
In: Developmental Psychology, 56 (2), pp. 261–274, 2020.
Toddlers' understanding of object rotation was investigated using a multimethod approach. Participants were 44 toddlers between 22 and 38 months of age. In an eye-tracking task, they observed a shape that rotated and disappeared briefly behind an occluder. In an object-fitting task, they rotated wooden blocks and fit them through apertures. Results of the eye-tracking task showed that with increasing age, the toddlers encoded the visible rotation using a more complex eye-movement pattern, increasingly combining tracking movements with gaze shifts to the pivot point. During occlusion, anticipatory looks to the location where the shape would reappear increased with age, whereas looking back to the location where the shape had just disappeared decreased. This suggests that, with increasing age, the toddlers formed a clearer mental representation about the object and its rotational movement. In the object-fitting task, the toddlers succeeded more with increasing age and also rotated the wooden blocks more often correctly before they tried to insert them. Importantly, these preadjustments correlated with anticipatory eye movements, suggesting that both measures tap the same underlying understanding of object rotation. The findings yield new insights into the relation between tasks using looking times and behavioral measures as dependent variables and thus may help to clarify performance differences that have previously been observed in studies with infants and young children.
Ellen Z Peng; Alan Kan; Ruth Y Litovsky
In: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 14 , pp. 1–13, 2020.
Children localize sounds using binaural cues when navigating everyday auditory environments. While sensitivity to binaural cues reaches maturity by 8–10 years of age, large individual variability has been observed in the just-noticeable-difference (JND) thresholds for interaural time difference (ITD) among children in this age range. To understand the development of binaural sensitivity beyond JND thresholds, the “looking-while-listening” paradigm was adapted in this study to reveal the real-time decision-making behavior during ITD processing. Children ages 8–14 years with normal hearing (NH) and a group of young NH adults were tested. This novel paradigm combined eye gaze tracking with behavioral psychoacoustics to estimate ITD JNDs in a two-alternative forced-choice discrimination task. Results from simultaneous eye gaze recordings during ITD processing suggested that children had adult-like ITD JNDs, but they demonstrated immature decision-making strategies. While the time course of arriving at the initial fixation and final decision in providing a judgment of the ITD direction was similar, children exhibited more uncertainty than adults during decision-making. Specifically, children made more fixation changes, particularly when tested using small ITD magnitudes, between the target and non-target response options prior to finalizing a judgment. These findings suggest that, while children may exhibit adult-like sensitivity to ITDs, their eye gaze behavior reveals that the processing of this binaural cue is still developing through late childhood.
Martyna Beata Płomecka; Zofia Baranczuk-Turska; Christian Pfeiffer; Nicolas Langer
In: eNeuro, 7 (5), pp. 1–16, 2020.
Neuropsychological studies indicate that healthy aging is associated with a decline of inhibitory control of at-tentional and behavioral systems. A widely accepted measure of inhibitory control is the antisaccade task that requires both the inhibition of a reflexive saccadic response toward a visual target and the initiation of a voluntary eye movement in the opposite direction. To better understand the nature of age-related differences in inhibitory control, we evaluated antisaccade task performance in 78 younger (20–35 years) and 78 older (60– 80 years) participants. In order to provide reliable estimates of inhibitory control for individual subjects, we investigated test–retest reliability of the reaction time, error rate, saccadic gain, and peak saccadic velocity and further estimated latent, not directly observable processed contributing to changes in the antisaccade task ex-ecution. The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for an older group of participants emerged as good to excellent for most of our antisaccade task measures. Furthermore, using Bayesian multivariate models, we in-spected age-related differences in the performances of healthy younger and older participants. The older group demonstrated higher error rates, longer reaction times, significantly more inhibition failures, and late prosaccades as compared with young adults. The consequently lower ability of older adults to voluntarily inhibit saccadic responses has been interpreted as an indicator of age-related inhibitory control decline. Additionally, we performed a Bayesian model comparison of used computational models and concluded that the Stochastic Early Reaction, Inhibition and Late Action (SERIA) model explains our data better than PRO-Stop-Antisaccade (PROSA) that does not incorporate a late decision process.
Megan Polden; Thomas D W Wilcockson; Trevor J Crawford
In: Brain Sciences, 10 (7), pp. 1–13, 2020.
Various studies have shown that Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with an impairment of inhibitory control, although we do not have a comprehensive understanding of the associated cognitive processes. The ability to engage and disengage attention is a crucial cognitive operation of inhibitory control and can be readily investigated using the “gap effect” in a saccadic eye movement paradigm. In previous work, various demographic factors were confounded; therefore, here, we examine separately the effects of cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease, ethnicity/culture and age. This study included young (N = 44) and old (N = 96) European participants, AD (N = 32), mildly cognitively impaired participants (MCI: N = 47) and South Asian older adults (N = 94). A clear reduction in the mean reaction times was detected in all the participant groups in the gap condition compared to the overlap condition, confirming the effect. Importantly, this effect was also preserved in participants with MCI and AD. A strong effect of age was also evident, revealing a slowing in the disengagement of attention during the natural process of ageing.
Jonathan E Prunty; Kelsey C Jackson; Jolie R Keemink; David J Kelly
In: Brain Sciences, 10 , pp. 1–10, 2020.
Infants show preferential attention toward faces and detect faces embedded within complex naturalistic scenes. Newborn infants are insensitive to race, but rapidly develop differential processing of own- and other-race faces. In the present study, we investigated the development of attentional orienting toward own- and other-race faces embedded within naturalistic scenes. Infants aged six-, nine- and twelve-months did not show differences in the speed of orienting to own- and other race faces, but other-race faces held infants' visual attention for longer. We also found a clear developmental progression in attentional capture and holding, with older infants orienting to faces faster and fixating them for longer. Results are interpreted within the context of the two-process model of face processing.
Tracy Reuter; Kavindya Dalawella; Casey Lew-Williams
In: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, pp. 1–17, 2020.
Prior research suggests that prediction supports language processing and learning. However, the ecological validity of such findings is unclear because experiments usually include constrained stimuli. While theoretically suggestive, previous conclusions will be largely irrelevant if listeners cannot generate predictions in response to complex and variable perceptual input. Taking a step toward addressing this limitation, three eye-tracking experiments evaluated how adults (N = 72) and 4- and 5-year-old children (N = 72) generated predictions in contexts with complex visual stimuli (Experiment 1), variable speech stimuli (Experiment 2), and both concurrently (Experiment 3). Results indicated that listeners generated predictions in contexts with complex visual stimuli or variable speech stimuli. When both were more naturalistic, listeners used informative verbs to generate predictions, but not adjectives or number markings. This investigation provides a test for theories claiming that prediction is a central learning mechanism, and calls for further evaluations of prediction in naturalistic settings.
Samy Rima; Grace Kerbyson; Elizabeth Jones; Michael C Schmid
In: Vision Research, 169 , pp. 41–48, 2020.
Visual perception is often not homogenous across the visual field and can vary depending on situational demands. The reasons behind this inhomogeneity are not clear. Here we show that directing attention that is consistent with a western reading habit from left to right, results in a ~32% higher sensitivity to detect transient visual events in the right hemifield. This right visual field advantage was largely reduced in individuals with reading difficulties from developmental dyslexia. Similarly, visual detection became more symmetric in skilled readers, when attention was guided opposite to the reading pattern. Taken together, these findings highlight a higher sensitivity in the right visual field for detecting the onset of sudden visual events that is well accounted for by left hemisphere dominated reading habit.
Andrew J Sanders; Scott P Johnson
Indexing early visual memory durability in infancy Journal Article
In: Child Development, pp. 1–15, 2020.
The goal was to examine the scope and development of early visual memory durability. We investigated individual- and age-related differences across three unique tasks in 6- to 12-month-olds (Mage = 8.87
Praghajieeth Raajhen Santhana Gopalan; Otto Loberg; Kaisa Lohvansuu; Bruce McCandliss; Jarmo Hämäläinen; Paavo Leppänen
In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14 , pp. 1–20, 2020.
Visual attention-related processes include three functional sub-processes: alerting, orienting, and inhibition. We examined these sub-processes using reaction times, event-related potentials (ERPs), and their neuronal source activations during the Attention Network Test (ANT) in control children, attentional problems (AP) children, and reading difficulties (RD) children. During the ANT, electroencephalography was measured using 128 electrodes on three groups of Finnish sixth-graders aged 12–13 years (control = 77; AP = 15; RD = 23). Participants were asked to detect the direction of a middle target fish within a group of five fish. The target stimulus was either preceded by a cue (center, double, or spatial), or without a cue, to manipulate the alerting and orienting sub-processes of attention. The direction of the target fish was either congruent or incongruent in relation to the flanker fish, thereby manipulating the inhibition sub-processes of attention. Reaction time performance showed no differences between groups in alerting, orienting, and inhibition effects. The group differences in ERPs were only found at the source level. Neuronal source analysis in the AP children revealed a larger alerting effect (double-cued vs. non-cued target stimuli) than control and RD children in the left occipital lobe. Control children showed a smaller orienting effect (spatially cued vs. center-cued target stimuli) in the left occipital lobe than AP and RD children. No group differences were found for the neuronal sources related to the inhibition effect. The neuronal activity differences related to sub-processes of attention in the AP and RD groups suggest different underlying mechanisms for attentional and reading problems.
Matteo Scaramuzzi; Jordan Murray; Jorge Otero-Millan; Paolo Nucci; Aasef G Shaik; Fatema F Ghasi
In: PLoS ONE, 15 (8), pp. 1–19, 2020.
Purpose: We investigated how the abnormalities of fixation eye movements (FEMs) of the amblyopic eye were linked with treatment outcomes following part-time patching therapy in children with amblyopia. Methods: We recruited 53 patients, with at least 12 months of patching, and measured FEMs at the end of treatment. Subjects were classified based on FEM waveforms (those without nystagmus = 21, those with nystagmus without fusion maldevelopment nystagmus (FMN) = 21, and those with FMN = 11) and based on clinical type of amblyopia (anisometropic = 18
Shira C Segal; Margaret C Moulson
In: Infancy, 25 (5), pp. 658–676, 2020.
Seven-month-old infants display a robust attentional bias for fearful faces; however, the mechanisms driving this bias remain unclear. The objective of the current study was to replicate the attentional bias for fearful faces and to investigate how infants' online scanning patterns relate to this preference. Infants' visual scanning patterns toward fearful and happy faces were captured using eye tracking in a paired-preference task, specifically exploring if the fear preference is driven by increased attention to particular facial features. Infants allocated increased attention toward the fearful face compared to the happy face overall, thus successfully replicating the attentional bias, and greater attention toward the fearful eyes was associated with a greater magnitude of the fear preference. The current findings suggest that the fearful eyes are a salient facial feature in capturing infants' attention toward the fearful face and that increased scanning of the fearful eyes may be one mechanism driving the overall fear preference. In addition, scanning patterns, and attention to critical features specifically, are highlighted as a strategy for examining the mechanisms underlying the development of emotion recognition abilities in infancy.
Shira C Segal; Margaret C Moulson
In: Brain Sciences, 10 (9), pp. 1–17, 2020.
Infants' visual processing of emotion undergoes significant development across the first year of life, yet our knowledge regarding the mechanisms underlying these advances is limited. Additionally, infant emotion processing is commonly examined using static faces, which do not accurately depict real-world emotional displays. The goal of this study was to characterize 7-month-olds' visual scanning strategies when passively viewing dynamic emotional expressions to examine whether infants modify their scanning patterns depending on the emotion. Eye-tracking measures revealed differential attention towards the critical features (eyes, mouth) of expressions. The eyes captured the greatest attention for angry and neutral faces, and the mouth captured the greatest attention for happy faces. A time-course analysis further elucidated at what point during the trial differential scanning patterns emerged. The current results suggest that 7-month-olds are sensitive to the critical features of emotional expressions and scan them differently depending on the emotion. The scanning patterns presented in this study may serve as a link to understanding how infants begin to differentiate between expressions in the context of emotion recognition.
Vladislava Segen; Marios N Avraamides; Timothy J Slattery; Jan M Wiener
In: Memory and Cognition, pp. 1–16, 2020.
Successful navigation requires memorising and recognising the locations of objects across different perspectives. Although these abilities rely on hippocampal functioning, which is susceptible to degeneration in older adults, little is known about the effects of ageing on encoding and response strategies that are used to recognise spatial configurations. To investigate this, we asked young and older participants to encode the locations of objects in a virtual room shown as a picture on a computer screen. Participants were then shown a second picture of the same room taken from the same (0°) or a different perspective (45° or 135°) and had to judge whether the objects occupied the same or different locations. Overall, older adults had greater difficulty with the task than younger adults although the introduction of a perspective shift between encoding and testing impaired performance in both age groups. Diffusion modelling revealed that older adults adopted a more conservative response strategy, while the analysis of gaze patterns showed an age-related shift in visual-encoding strategies with older adults attending to more information when memorising the positions of objects in space. Overall, results suggest that ageing is associated with declines in spatial processing abilities, with older individuals shifting towards a more conservative decision style and relying more on encoding target object positions using room-based cues compared to younger adults, who focus more on encoding the spatial relationships among object clusters.
Anka Slana Ozimič; Grega Repovš
In: Data in Brief, 30 , pp. 1–6, 2020.
This article describes the data collected in four experiments presented in the paper “Visual working memory capacity is limited by two systems that change across lifespan” . The data includes behavioural results from a sample of 397 healthy participants performing a visual working memory span task in which they had to maintain the orientations of items presented to the left, right, or both visual hemifields. It also includes a simulation of experimental data for a number of possible scenarios. The repository  encompasses individual raw data files, a Python preprocessing script used for filtering raw data and the resulting dataset, an R script used to carry out the statistical analysis of the preprocessed data as well as an R script used for the simulations reported in the original paper. Finally, the repository includes an R generated analysis report, containing results of statistical tests and related visual materials, as well as the results of the simulation.
Evin Aktar; Maartje E J Raijmakers; Mariska E Kret
Pupil mimicry in infants and parents Journal Article
In: Cognition and Emotion, 34 (6), pp. 1160–1170, 2020.
Changes in pupil size can reflect social interest or affect, and tend to get mimicked by observers during eye contact. Pupil mimicry has recently been observed in young infants, whereas it is unknown whether the extent and the speed of infants' pupil mimicry response are identical to that of adults. Moreover, the question of whether pupil mimicry in infants is modulated by the race of the observed other remains to be explored. In two studies, pupil mimicry was investigated in infants and their parents. In the first study, 6-, 12- and 18-month-olds (n = 194) and their parents (n = 192) observed eyes with dynamically dilating, constricting, or static pupils. Infants mimicked the pupil sizes of the observed eyes like their parents, but responded slower. Study 2 replicated these findings in a new sample of infants (n = 55, 12-month-olds) and parents (n = 64), and further showed that the pupil mimicry response was not significantly modulated by the race of the observed partner neither in infants nor in parents. We conclude that pupil mimicry is an ancient bonding mechanism that helps to connect people.
Natsuki Atagi; Scott P Johnson
In: Brain Sciences, 10 (8), pp. 1–12, 2020.
Early social-linguistic experience influences infants' attention to faces but little is known about how infants attend to the faces of speakers engaging in conversation. Here, we examine how monolingual and bilingual infants attended to speakers during a conversation, and we tested for the possibility that infants' visual attention may be modulated by familiarity with the language being spoken. We recorded eye movements in monolingual and bilingual 15-to-24-month-olds as they watched video clips of speakers using infant-directed speech while conversing in a familiar or unfamiliar language, with each other and to the infant. Overall, findings suggest that bilingual infants visually shift attention to a speaker prior to speech onset more when an unfamiliar, rather than a familiar, language is being spoken. However, this same effect was not found for monolingual infants. Thus, infants' familiarity with the language being spoken, and perhaps their language experiences, may modulate infants' visual attention to speakers.
Inbar Avni; Gal Meiri; Asif Bar-Sinai; Doron Reboh; Liora Manelis; Hagit Flusser; Analya Michaelovski; Idan Menashe; Ilan Dinstein
In: Autism Research, 13 (6), pp. 935–946, 2020.
Previous eye-tracking studies have reported that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) fixate less on faces in comparison to controls. To properly understand social interactions, however, children must gaze not only at faces but also at actions, gestures, body movements, contextual details, and objects, thereby creating specific gaze patterns when observing specific social interactions. We presented three different movies with social interactions to 111 children (71 with ASD) who watched each of the movies twice. Typically developing children viewed the movies in a remarkably predictable and reproducible manner, exhibiting gaze patterns that were similar to the mean gaze pattern of other controls, with strong correlations across individuals (intersubject correlations) and across movie presentations (intra-subject correlations). In contrast, children with ASD exhibited significantly more variable/idiosyncratic gaze patterns that differed from the mean gaze pattern of controls and were weakly correlated across individuals and presentations. Most importantly, quantification of gaze idiosyncrasy in individual children enabled separation of ASD and control children with higher sensitivity and specificity than traditional measures such as time gazing at faces. Individual magnitudes of gaze idiosyncrasy were also significantly correlated with ASD severity and cognitive scores and were significantly correlated across movies and movie presentations, demonstrating clinical sensitivity and reliability. These results suggest that gaze idiosyncrasy is a potent behavioral abnormality that characterizes a considerable number of children with ASD and may contribute to their impaired development. Quantification of gaze idiosyncrasy in individual children may aid in assessing symptom severity and their change in response to treatments. Autism Res 2020, 13: 935-946. textcopyright 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Lay Summary: Typically, developing children watch movies of social interactions in a reliable and predictable manner, attending faces, gestures, actions, body movements, and objects that are relevant to the social interaction and its narrative. Here, we demonstrate that children with ASD watch such movies with significantly more variable/idiosyncratic gaze patterns that differ across individuals and across movie presentations. We demonstrate that quantifying this gaze variability may aid in identifying children with ASD and in determining the severity of their symptoms.
Nicolai D Ayasse; Arthur Wingfield
In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14 , pp. 1–11, 2020.
Studies of spoken word recognition have reliably shown that both younger and older adults' recognition of acoustically degraded words is facilitated by the presence of a linguistic context. Against this benefit, older adults' word recognition can be differentially hampered by interference from other words that could also fit the context. These prior studies have primarily used off-line response measures such as the signal-to-noise ratio needed for a target word to be correctly identified. Less clear is the locus of these effects; whether facilitation and interference have their influence primarily during response selection, or whether their effects begin to operate even before a sentence-final target word has been uttered. This question was addressed by tracking 20 younger and 20 older adults' eye fixations on a visually presented target word that corresponded to the final word of a contextually constraining or neutral sentence, accompanied by a second word on the computer screen that in some cases could also fit the sentence context. Growth curve analysis of the time-course of eye-gaze on a target word showed facilitation and inhibition effects begin to appear even as a spoken sentence is unfolding in time. Consistent with an age-related inhibition deficit, older adults' word recognition was slowed by the presence of a semantic competitor to a degree not observed for younger adults, with this effect operating early in the recognition process.
Mireille Babineau; Alex de Carvalho; John Trueswell; Anne Christophe
In: Developmental Science, 24 , pp. 1–12, 2020.
Young children can exploit the syntactic context of a novel word to narrow down its probable meaning. But how do they learn which contexts are linked to which semantic features in the first place? We investigate if 3- to 4-year-old children (n = 60) can learn about a syntactic context from tracking its use with only a few familiar words. After watching a 5-min training video in which a novel function word (i.e., ‘ko') replaced either personal pronouns or articles, children were able to infer semantic properties for novel words co-occurring with the newly learned function word (i.e., objects vs. actions). These findings implicate a mechanism by which a distributional analysis, associated with a small vocabulary of known words, could be sufficient to identify some properties associated with specific syntactic contexts.
Marion Beretti; Naomi Havron; Anne Christophe
In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 200 , pp. 1–21, 2020.
A central challenge in language acquisition is the integration of multiple sources of information, potentially in conflict, to acquire new knowledge and adjust current linguistic representations. One way to accomplish this is to assign more weight to more reliable sources of information in context. We tested the hypothesis that children adjust the weight of different sources of information during learning, considering two specific sources of information: their knowledge of the meaning of familiar words (semantics) and their familiarity with syntax. We varied the reliability of these sources of information through an induction phase (reliable syntax or reliable semantics). At test, French 4- and 5-year-old children and adults listened to sentences where information provided by these two cues conflicted and were asked to choose between two videos that illustrate the sentence. One video presented the reasonable choice if the sentence is assumed to be syntactically correct, but familiar words refer to novel things (e.g., une mange–“an eats” describes a novel object). The other video was the reasonable choice if the sentence is assumed to be syntactically incorrect and familiar words' meaning is preserved (e.g., “an eats” describes a girl eating and actually should have been “she eats”). As predicted, the proportion of syntactic choices (e.g., interpreting mange–“eats” as a novel noun) was found to be higher in the reliable syntax condition than in the reliable semantics condition, showing that children and adults can adapt their expectations to the reliability of sources of information.
Eileen E Birch; Yolanda S Castañeda; Christina S Cheng-Patel; Sarah E Morale; Krista R Kelly; Reed M Jost; Lindsey A Hudgins; David A Leske; Jonathan M Holmes
In: Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 61 (11), pp. 1–6, 2020.
Purpose: To evaluate associations between eye-related quality of life (ER-QOL) assessed by the Child Pediatric Eye Questionnaire (Child PedEyeQ) and functional measures (vision, visuomotor function, self-perception) in children with strabismus, anisometropia, or both. Our hypothesis was that children with functional deficits would have lower ER-QOL, and if so, these associations would support the convergent construct validity of the Child PedEyeQ. Methods: We evaluated 114 children (ages 5-11 years) with strabismus, anisometropia, or both. Each child completed the Child PedEyeQ to assess four Rasch-scored domains of ER-QOL: Functional Vision, Bothered by Eyes/Vision, Social, and Frustration/Worry. In addition, children completed one or more functional tests: visual acuity (n = 114), Randot Preschool Stereoacuity (n = 92), contrast balance index (suppression; n = 91), Readalyzer reading (n = 44), vergence instability (n = 50), Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 manual dexterity (n = 57), and Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (n = 44). Results: Child PedEyeQ Functional Vision domain scores were correlated with self-perception of physical competence (rs = 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35-0.96) and reading speed (rs = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.16-0.77). Bothered by Eyes/Vision domain scores were correlated with self-perception of physical competence (rs = 0.52; 95% CI, 0.21-0.83). Moderate correlations were observed between Social domain scores and vergence instability (rs = -0.46; 95% CI, -0.76 to -0.15) and self-perception of physical competence (rs = 0.43; 95% CI, 0.12-0.73) and peer acceptance (rs = 0.49; 95% CI, 0.18-0.80). Frustration/Worry domain scores were moderately correlated with self-perception of physical competence (rs = 0.41; 95% CI, 0.10-0.71) and peer acceptance (rs = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.16-0.77). Conclusions: Strong and moderate correlations were observed between functional measures and Child PedEyeQ domain scores. These associations provide supporting evidence that the Child PedEyeQ has convergent construct validity.
Carolina Bonmassar; Andreas Widmann; Nicole Wetzel
In: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 42 , pp. 1–13, 2020.
Focusing on relevant and ignoring irrelevant information is essential for many learning processes. The present study investigated attention-related brain activity and pupil dilation responses, evoked by task-irrelevant emotional novel sounds. In the framework of current theories about the relation between attention and the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system, we simultaneously registered event-related potentials (ERPs) in the EEG and changes in pupil diameter (PDR). Unexpected emotional negative and neutral environmental novel sounds were presented within a sequence of repeated standard sounds to 7–10-year-old children and to adults, while participants focused on a visual task. Novel sounds evoked distinctive ERP components, reflecting attention processes and a biphasic PDR in both age groups. Amplitudes of the novel-minus-standard ERPs were increased in children compared to adults, indicating immature neuronal basis of auditory attention in middle childhood. Emotional versus neutral novel sounds evoked increased responses in the ERPs and in the PDR in both age groups. This demonstrates the increased impact of emotional sounds on attention mechanisms and indicates an advanced level of emotional information processing in children. The similar pattern of novel-related PDR and ERPs is conforming to recent theories, emphasizing the role of the LC-NE system in attention processes adding a developmental perspective.
In: Developmental Science, 23 , pp. 1–15, 2020.
This project explores how children disambiguate and retain novel object-label mappings in the face of semantic similarity. Burgeoning evidence suggests that semantic structure in the developing lexicon promotes word learning in ostensive contexts, whereas other findings indicate that semantic similarity interferes with and temporarily slows familiar word recognition. This project explores how these distinct processes interact when mapping and retaining labels for novel objects (i.e., low-frequency objects that are unfamiliar to toddlers) via disambiguation from a semantically similar familiar referent in 24-month-olds (N = 65). Toddlers' log-adjusted looking to labeled target objects (relative to distractor objects) was measured in three conditions: Familiar trials (familiar label spoken while viewing semantically related familiar and novel objects), Disambiguation trials (unfamiliar label spoken while viewing semantically similar familiar and unfamiliar object), and Retention trials (unfamiliar label spoken while viewing novel object pairs). Toddlers' individual vocabulary structure was then compared to performance on each condition. Vocabulary structure was measured at two levels: category-level structure (semantic density) for experimental items, and lexicon-level structure (global clustering coefficient). The findings suggest, consistent with prior results, that semantic density interfered with known word recognition, and facilitated unfamiliar word retention. Children did not show a significant novel word preference during disambiguation, and disambiguation behavior was not impacted by semantic structure. These findings connect seemingly disparate mechanisms of semantic interference in processing and semantic leveraging in word learning. Semantic interference momentarily slows word recognition and resolution of referential uncertainty for novel label-object mappings. Nevertheless, this slowing might support retention by enabling comparison between related objects.
Evelyn Bosma; Naomi Nota
In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 189 , pp. 1–18, 2020.
Bilingual adults are faster in reading cognates than in reading non-cognates in both their first language (L1) and second language (L2). This cognate effect has been shown to be gradual: recognition was facilitated when words had higher degrees of cross-linguistic similarity. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether cognate facilitation can also be observed in bilingual children's sentence reading. To answer this question, a group of Frisian–Dutch bilingual children (N = 37) aged 9–12 years completed a reading task in both their languages. All children had Dutch as their dominant reading language, but most of them spoke mainly Frisian at home. Identical cognates (e.g., Dutch–Frisian boek–boek ‘book'), non-identical cognates (e.g., beam–boom ‘tree'), and non-cognates (e.g., beppe–oma ‘grandmother') were presented in sentence context, and eye movements were recorded. The results showed a non-gradual cognate facilitation effect in Frisian: identical cognates were read faster than non-identical cognates and non-cognates. In Dutch, no cognate facilitation effect could be observed. This suggests that bilingual children use their dominant reading language while reading in their non-dominant one, but not vice versa.
John Brand; Travis D Masterson; Jennifer A Emond; Reina Lansigan; Diane Gilbert-Diamond
In: Appetite, 148 , pp. 1–7, 2020.
Objective: Attentional bias to food cues may be a risk factor for childhood obesity, yet there are few paradigms to measure such biases in young children. Therefore, the present work introduces an eye-tracking visual search task to measure attentional bias in young children. Methods: Fifty-one 3-6-year-olds played a game to find a target cartoon character among food (experimental condition) or toy (control condition) distractors. Children completed the experimental and toy conditions on two separate visits in randomized order. Behavioral (response latencies) and eye-tracking measures (time to first fixation, initial gaze duration duration, cumulative gaze duration ) of attention to food and toy cues were computed. Regressions were used to test for attentional bias to food versus toy cues, and whether attentional bias to food cues was related to current BMI z-score. Results: Children spent more cumulative time looking at food versus toy distractors and took longer to locate the target when searching through food versus toy distractors. The faster children fixated on their first food versus toy distractor was associated with higher BMI z-scores. Conclusions: Using a game-based paradigm employing eyetracking, we found a behavioral attentional bias to food vs. toy distractors in young children. Further, attentional bias to food cues was associated with current BMI z-score.
Valentina S Bratash; Elena I Riekhakaynen; Tatiana E Petrova
Сreating and processing sketchnotes: A psycholinguistic study Journal Article
In: Procedia Computer Science, 176 , pp. 2930–2939, 2020.
This paper presents the study of sketchnotes (visual notes containing a handwritten text and drawings) created by Russian school children. The study was aimed to reveal the subjective attitude of the children to the sketchnoting technique and to check whether the sketches are better than handwritten verbal summaries for retrieving and memorizing the information. In the first experiment, 139 participants aged from 14 to 17 years filled in a questionnaire aimed at figuring out their attitude to the sketchnoting. The results showed that the school children find this technique interesting and useful for memorizing and recalling the information, despite the fact that many of them report it to be time consuming. In the second experiment, we asked seven Russian speaking school children to retell two texts referring to the visual notes and text summary they had created themselves. The results of the experiment did not demonstrate the tendency for the sketchnotes to be processed faster and being more effective than the verbal text. We also described the patterns used by the school children while reading the sketchnotes and showed that they pay special attention to such elements of the sketchnotes as the title, highlighted elements and portraits.
Jasmin Breitwieser; Garvin Brod
In: Child Development, pp. 1–15, 2020.
This study examined age-related differences in the effectiveness of two generative learning strategies (GLSs). Twenty-five children aged 9–11 and 25 university students aged 17–29 performed a facts learning task in which they had to generate either a prediction or an example before seeing the correct result. We found a significant Age × Learning Strategy interaction, with children remembering more facts after generating predictions rather than examples, whereas both strategies were similarly effective in adults. Pupillary data indicated that predictions stimulated surprise, whereas the effectiveness of example-based learning correlated with children's analogical reasoning abilities. These findings suggest that there are different cognitive prerequisites for different GLSs, which results in varying degrees of strategy effectiveness by age.
Garvin Brod; Jasmin Breitwieser; Marcus Hasselhorn; Silvia A Bunge
In: Developmental Science, 23 (3), pp. 1–14, 2020.
This study investigated whether prompting children to generate predictions about an outcome facilitates activation of prior knowledge and improves belief revision. 51 children aged 9–12 were tested on two experimental tasks in which generating a prediction was compared to closely matched control conditions, as well as on a test of executive functions (EF). In Experiment 1, we showed that children exhibited a pupillary surprise response to events that they had predicted incorrectly, hypothesized to reflect the transient release of noradrenaline in response to cognitive conflict. However, children's surprise response was not associated with better belief revision, in contrast to a previous study involving adults. Experiment 2 revealed that, while generating predictions helped children activate their prior knowledge, only those with better inhibitory control skills learned from incorrectly predicted outcomes. Together, these results suggest that good inhibitory control skills are needed for learning through cognitive conflict. Thus, generating predictions benefits learning – but only among children with sufficient EF capacities to harness surprise for revising their beliefs.
Ming Lei Chen; Chia Hsing Chen
In: Journal of Research in Reading, 43 (2), pp. 180–200, 2020.
Background: Reading researchers have generally considered that reading is an interactive combination of top-down (higher-level language skill) and bottom-up (lower-level language skill) processes. Nevertheless, the mechanisms through which readers apply these skills for online text comprehension are unclear. Methods: The present study thus used eight classical Chinese (CC) texts and their corresponding vernacular translation (VT) texts for controlling the text structure and meaning to explore such mechanisms in high school students. Results: With partial-out to the influences of (a) students' language achievement scores, (b) word frequency and (c) word length, we observed no significant difference in comprehension accuracy between the CC and VT texts, and the CC texts involved a significantly lower reading speed than did the VT texts. Moreover, the first fixation duration, gaze duration, rereading time and total reading time for the CC texts were longer than those for the VT texts. For all events, CC text reading required a longer fixation duration and significantly longer rereading time and total reading time than did VT text reading. Further observations show that students comprehended CC texts by adjusting their lower- and higher-level language skills. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that even if CC texts contain a relatively high number of low-frequency words, as readers get more and more contextual information from the text, they can gradually apply higher-level reading skills to understand the meaning of the text, which can ease the dependence on word decoding. Highlights: What is already known about this topic Lower- and higher-level language skills—which reflect lexical access and higher order text integration, respectively—affect reading comprehension. Theory and research in reading comprehension have emphasised the interactive process of both language skills to lead to successfully understanding text. What this paper adds By using classical Chinese texts and their corresponding vernacular translations to control the meaning of texts, text event structures and the corresponding word sequence, we determined that high school students comprehended classical Chinese texts by adjusting their lower- and higher-level language skills. This study also revealed students' dynamical adjustment of lower- and higher-level language skills within construction and integration phases according to various events. Implications for theory, policy or practice This study demonstrated that word-based eye-movement measures can reflect the processing of lower- and higher-level components in online reading and can reveal the even construction and integration processes of construction–integration model theory. By thoroughly examining reading strategies for texts structured according to events, this study revealed how high school students can achieve a certain degree of comprehension of classical Chinese texts through the use of higher-level language skills.
Sheng Chang Chen; Hsiao Ching She
In: Journal of Science Education and Technology, 29 (4), pp. 547–560, 2020.
This study analyzed the impact of different analogical learning approaches (analogies or metaphors) integrated with different presentation modalities (pictures or texts) on middle school students' learning performance of electricity with supporting evidence from their eye movement behaviors. Eighty ninth-grade middle school students were randomly assigned into four groups to receive four different versions of an online electricity learning program, including pictorial analogies, textual analogies, pictorial metaphors, and textual metaphors. Data regarding students' eye movement behaviors were collected simultaneously during their online learning. All the students took a pre-test, post-test, and retention test covering their comprehension of electricity concepts. Our results revealed that the analogy group provided more mapping and integration behaviors between the analog and target concepts about electricity, resulting in gaining better performance than the metaphor group. Additionally, students receiving pictorial modality generated more mapping and integration behaviors between the analog and target concepts, resulting in a better understanding of electricity concepts than students learning with textual modality. The associated implications for analogical learning approaches and presentation modalities concerning science learning and eye movement behaviors are also discussed in the paper.
Lyndsey J Chong; Alexandria Meyer
In: Developmental Psychobiology, pp. 1–12, 2020.
Anxiety is one of the most common forms of child psychopathology associated with persistent impairment across the lifespan. Therefore, investigating mechanisms that underlie anxiety in early childhood may improve prevention and intervention efforts. Researchers have linked selective attention toward threat (i.e., attentional bias to threat) with the development of anxiety. However, previous work on attentional bias has used less reliable, reaction time (RT)-based measures of attention. Additionally, few studies have used eye-tracking to measure attentional bias in young children. In the present study, we investigated the psychometric properties of an eye-tracking measure of attentional bias in a sample of young children between 6- and 9-years-old and explored if trait and clinical anxiety were related to attentional biases to threat. Results showed good psychometric properties for threat and neutral attentional biases, comparable to those found in adult eye-tracking studies. Temperamental and clinical anxiety did not significantly relate to threat/neutral dwell time and attentional biases. The significance of these null findings was discussed in relation to existing developmental theories of attentional biases. Future studies should explore if temperamental or clinical anxiety prospectively predict threat attentional bias and the onset of anxiety in older children using a longitudinal design.
Valentina Cristante; Sarah Schimke
In: Language, Interaction and Acquisition, 11 (2), pp. 163–195, 2020.
This study examines the processing and interpretation of passive sentences in German-speaking seven-year-olds, ten-year-olds, and adults. This structure is often assumed to be particularly difficult to understand, and not yet fully mastered in primary school ( Kemp, Bredel, & Reich, 2008 ), i.e. in children aged between six and eleven. Few studies provide empirical data concerning this age range; it is therefore unknown whether this assumption is warranted. Against this background, we tested whether the three age groups differed in their off-line comprehension of passive sentences. In addition, we employed Visual World eye-tracking to measure processing difficulties that may differ between age groups and may not be reflected in the final interpretations. Previous studies on adult language processing in German and English have documented a preference to interpret sentences according to an agent-first strategy . Our results show that all three groups make use of this strategy, and that all of them are able to revise this interpretation once the first cue indicating a passive sentence is encountered (the auxiliary verb form wurde ). We conclude that at least from age seven on, children have the linguistic and cognitive prerequisites to process the passive morphosyntax of German and to revise initial sentence misinterpretations.
Xiaohui Cui; Jiuju Wang; Yulin Chang; Mengmeng Su; Hannah T Sherman; Zhaomin Wu; Yufeng Wang; Wei Zhou
In: Frontiers in Psychology, 11 , pp. 1–8, 2020.
In this study, a visual search task was conducted on children with comorbid attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and developmental dyslexia (DD), children with pure ADHD, and typically developing children to explore the pathogenesis of comorbidity between ADHD and DD. Participants searched for the target character from five characters in each trial during the task. The distractors included orthographically similar characters, homophones, unrelated characters, and characters of a different color (i.e., red). Results showed that the clinical groups produced longer first fixation duration than the control group in all types of distractors. Children with ADHD comorbid DD were also more susceptible to characters with the distracting red color in gaze duration and total viewing time than were children with pure ADHD and healthy controls. The implication of comorbidity (ADHD + DD) on the pathogenesis was discussed. These results may be helpful for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD with comorbid DD.
Kacie Dunham; Jacob I Feldman; Yupeng Liu; Margaret Cassidy; Julie G Conrad; Pooja Santapuram; Evan Suzman; Alexander Tu; Iliza Butera; David M Simon; Neill Broderick; Mark T Wallace; David Lewkowicz; Tiffany G Woynaroski
In: American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 125 (4), pp. 287–303, 2020.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display differences in multisensory function as quantified by several different measures. This study estimated the stability of variables derived from commonly used measures of multisensory function in school-aged children with ASD. Participants completed: a simultaneity judgment task for audiovisual speech, tasks designed to elicit the McGurk effect, listening-in-noise tasks, electroencephalographic recordings, and eye-tracking tasks. Results indicate the stability of indices derived from tasks tapping multisensory processing is variable. These findings have important implications for measurement in future research. Averaging scores across repeated observations will often be required to obtain acceptably stable estimates and, thus, to increase the likelihood of detecting effects of interest, as it relates to multisensory processing in children with ASD.
Kelsey L C Dzwilewski; Francheska M Merced-Nieves; Andrea Aguiar; Susan A Korrick; Susan L Schantz
In: Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 81 , pp. 1–14, 2020.
Infant looking behaviors measured during visual assessment paradigms may be more reliable predictors of long-term cognitive outcomes than standard measures such as the Bayley Scales of Infant Development typically used in environmental epidemiology. Infrared eye tracking technology offers an innovative approach to automate collection and processing of looking behavior data, making it possible to efficiently assess large numbers of infants. The goals of this study were to characterize infant looking behavior measures including side preference, fixation duration, and novelty preference using eye tracking and an automated version of an established visual recognition memory paradigm that includes both human faces and geometric figures as stimuli. An ancillary goal was to assess the feasibility of obtaining a precise measure of looking to the eye region of faces from the eye-tracking data. In this study, 309 7.5-month-old infants from a prospective birth cohort were assessed using a visual recognition memory (VRM) paradigm. Infrared eye tracking was used to record looking time as infants were shown nine blocks of trials with a pair of identical faces or shapes followed by two trials in which the familiar stimulus was paired with a novel one. Infants were assessed in one of four conditions: in conditions A and B, stimulus set 1 were the familiar stimuli and set 2 were novel; in conditions C and D, set 2 were familiar and set 1 novel. The novel stimuli were presented on the right first in conditions A and C and on the left first in conditions B and D. We observed a significant right side preference, which has not been reported before (57% of looking time spent looking at right side stimulus, p-value textless 0.0001). Infants showed a preference for the novel stimuli similar to that published in prior studies (57–60% of looking time spent looking at the novel stimulus, p-value textless 0.0001), as well as average fixation durations similar to previous studies. Infants also showed a strong preference for the eyes versus the rest of the face (p-value textless 0.0001). Novelty preference was significantly higher when set 2 stimuli were novel (p-value textless 0.0001), suggesting a preference among infants for set 2 stimuli compared to set 1 stimuli. The pattern of novelty preference across trials was significantly different between infants who saw the novel stimuli on the left first and those who saw them on the right first (p-value textless 0.0001) but the overall mean novelty preference was not significantly different between these groups. There were also significant differences in average fixation duration and eyes preference measures across stimuli (p-values textless 0.05). These findings show that VRM assessment can be automated for use in large-scale epidemiological studies using infrared eye tracking with looking behavior measure results similar to those obtained with standard non-automated methods, and that side and stimulus preferences are important modifiers of looking behavior that are critical to consider in this type of assessment.
Kaitlyn Easson; Noor Z Al Dahhan; Donald C Brien; John R Kirby; Douglas P Munoz
In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14 , pp. 1–14, 2020.
Studying the typical development of reading is key to understanding the precise deficits that underlie reading disabilities. An important correlate of efficient reading is the speed of naming arrays of simple stimuli such as letters and pictures. In this cross-sectional study, we examined developmental changes in visual processing that occurs during letter and object naming from childhood to early adulthood in terms of behavioral task efficiency, associated articulation and eye movement parameters, and the coordination between them, as measured by eye-voice span in both the spatial and temporal domains. We used naming speed (NS) tasks, in which participants were required to name sets of letters or simple objects as quickly and as accurately as possible. Single stimulus manipulations were made to these tasks to make the stimuli either more visually and/or phonologically similar to one another in order to examine how these manipulations affected task performance and the coordination between speech and eye movements. Across development there was an increased efficiency in speech and eye movement performance and their coordination in both the spatial and temporal domains. Furthermore, manipulations to the phonological and visual similarity of specific letter and object stimuli revealed that orthographic processing played a greater role than phonological processing in performance, with the contribution of phonological processing diminishing across development. This comprehensive typical developmental trajectory provides a benchmark for clinical populations to elucidate the nature of the cognitive dysfunction underlying reading difficulties.
Julia Egger; Caroline F Rowland; Christina Bergmann
In: Behavior Research Methods, 52 (5), pp. 2188–2201, 2020.
Visual reaction times to target pictures after naming events are an informative measurement in language acquisition research, because gaze shifts measured in looking-while-listening paradigms are an indicator of infants' lexical speed of processing. This measure is very useful, as it can be applied from a young age onwards and has been linked to later language development. However, to obtain valid reaction times, the infant is required to switch the fixation of their eyes from a distractor to a target object. This means that usually at least half the trials have to be discarded—those where the participant is already fixating the target at the onset of the target word—so that no reaction time can be measured. With few trials, reliability suffers, which is especially problematic when studying individual differences. In order to solve this problem, we developed a gaze-triggered looking-while-listening paradigm. The trials do not differ from the original paradigm apart from the fact that the target object is chosen depending on the infant's eye fixation before naming. The object the infant is looking at becomes the distractor and the other object is used as the target, requiring a fixation switch, and thus providing a reaction time. We tested our paradigm with forty-three 18-month-old infants, comparing the results to those from the original paradigm. The Gaze-triggered paradigm yielded more valid reaction time trials, as anticipated. The results of a ranked correlation between the conditions confirmed that the manipulated paradigm measures the same concept as the original paradigm.
Miray Erbey; Josefin Roebbig; Anahit Babayan; Deniz Kumral; Janis Reinelt; Andrea M F Reiter; Lina Schaare; Marie Uhlig; Till Nierhaus; Elke Van der Meer; Michael Gaebler; Arno Villringer
In: Frontiers in Psychology, 11 , pp. 1–16, 2020.
Aging has been associated with a motivational shift to positive over negative information (i.e., positivity effect), which is often explained by a limited future time perspective (FTP) within the framework of socioemotional selectivity theory (SST). However, whether a limited FTP functions similarly in younger and older adults, and whether inter-individual differences in socioemotional functioning are similarly associated with preference for positive information (i.e., positivity) is still not clear. We investigated younger (20–35 years
Xi Fan; Ronan Reilly
In: Journal of Eye Movement Research, 13 (6), pp. 1–16, 2020.
This paper describes the use of semantic similarity measures based on distributed representations of words, sentences, and paragraphs (so-called "embeddings") to assess the impact of supra-lexical factors on eye-movement data from early readers of Chinese. In addition, we used a corpus-based measure of surprisal to assess the impact of local word predictability. Eye movement data from 56 Chinese students were collected (a) in the students' 4th grade and (b) one year later while they were in 5th grade. Results indicated that surprisal and some text similarity measures have a significant impact on the moment-to-moment processing of words in reading. The paper presents an easy-to-use set of tools for linking the low-level aspects of fixation durations to a hierarchy of sentence-level and paragraph-level features that can be computed automatically. The study is the first attempt, as far as we are aware, to track the developmental trajectory of these influences in developing readers across a range of reading abilities. The similarity-based measures described here can be used (a) to provide a measure of reader sensitivity to sentence and paragraph cohesion and (b) to assess specific texts for their suitability for readers of different reading ability levels.
Leigh B Fernandez; Paul E Engelhardt; Angela G Patarroyo; Shanley E M Allen
In: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73 (12), pp. 2348–2361, 2020.
Research has shown that suprasegmental cues in conjunction with visual context can lead to anticipatory (or predictive) eye movements. However, the impact of speech rate on anticipatory eye movements has received little empirical attention. The purpose of the current study was twofold. From a methodological perspective, we tested the impact of speech rate on anticipatory eye movements by systemically varying speech rate (3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and 6.0 syllables per second) in the processing of filler-gap dependencies. From a theoretical perspective, we examined two groups thought to show fewer anticipatory eye movements, and thus likely to be more impacted by speech rate. Experiment 1 compared anticipatory eye movements across the lifespan with younger (18–24 years old) and older adults (40–75 years old). Experiment 2 compared L1 speakers of English and L2 speakers of English with an L1 of German. Results showed that all groups made anticipatory eye movements. However, L2 speakers only made anticipatory eye movements at 3.5 syllables per second, older adults at 3.5 and 4.5 syllables per second, and younger adults at speech rates up to 5.5 syllables per second. At the fastest speech rate, all groups showed a marked decrease in anticipatory eye movements. This work highlights (1) the importance of speech rate on anticipatory eye movements, and (2) group-level performance differences in filler-gap prediction.
Rebecca L A Frost; Andrew Jessop; Samantha Durrant; Michelle S Peter; Amy Bidgood; Julian M Pine; Caroline F Rowland; Padraic Monaghan
In: Cognitive Psychology, 120 , pp. 1–19, 2020.
To acquire language, infants must learn how to identify words and linguistic structure in speech. Statistical learning has been suggested to assist both of these tasks. However, infants' capacity to use statistics to discover words and structure together remains unclear. Further, it is not yet known how infants' statistical learning ability relates to their language development. We trained 17-month-old infants on an artificial language comprising non-adjacent dependencies, and examined their looking times on tasks assessing sensitivity to words and structure using an eye-tracked head-turn-preference paradigm. We measured infants' vocabulary size using a Communicative Development Inventory (CDI) concurrently and at 19, 21, 24, 25, 27, and 30 months to relate performance to language development. Infants could segment the words from speech, demonstrated by a significant difference in looking times to words versus part-words. Infants' segmentation performance was significantly related to their vocabulary size (receptive and expressive) both currently, and over time (receptive until 24 months, expressive until 30 months), but was not related to the rate of vocabulary growth. The data also suggest infants may have developed sensitivity to generalised structure, indicating similar statistical learning mechanisms may contribute to the discovery of words and structure in speech, but this was not related to vocabulary size.
Hallie Garrison; Gladys Baudet; Elise Breitfeld; Alexis Aberman; Elika Bergelson
In: Infancy, 25 (4), pp. 458–477, 2020.
Infants amass thousands of hours of experience with particular items, each of which is representative of a broader category that often shares perceptual features. Robust word comprehension requires generalizing known labels to new category members. While young infants have been found to look at common nouns when they are named aloud, the role of item familiarity has not been well examined. This study compares 12- to 18-month-olds' word comprehension in the context of pairs of their own items (e.g., photographs of their own shoe and ball) versus new tokens from the same category (e.g., a new shoe and ball). Our results replicate previous work showing that noun comprehension improves rapidly over the second year, while also suggesting that item familiarity appears to play a far smaller role in comprehension in this age range. This in turn suggests that even before age 2, ready generalization beyond particular experiences is an intrinsic component of lexical development.
F Geringswald; A Afyouni; C Noblet; M H Grosbras
Inhibiting saccades to a social stimulus: A developmental study Journal Article
In: Scientific Reports, 10 , pp. 1–12, 2020.
Faces are an important source of social signal throughout the lifespan. In adults, they have a prioritized access to the orienting system. Here we investigate when this effect emerges during development. We tested 139 children, early adolescents, adolescents and adults in a mixed pro- and anti-saccades task with faces, cars or noise patterns as visual targets. We observed an improvement in performance until about 15 years of age, replicating studies that used only meaningless stimuli as targets. Also, as previously reported, we observed that adults made more direction errors to faces than abstract patterns and cars. The children showed this effect too with regards to noise patterns but it was not specific since performance for cars and faces did not differ. The adolescents, in contrast, made more errors for faces than for cars but as many errors for noise patterns and faces. In all groups latencies for pro-saccades were faster towards faces. We discuss these findings with regards to the development of executive control in childhood and adolescence and the influence of social stimuli at different ages.
E Greimel; C Piechaczek; M Schulte-Rüther; L Feldmann; G Schulte-Körne
In: Behaviour Research and Therapy, 126 , pp. 1–10, 2020.
Individuals with major depression (MD) show deficits in cognitive reappraisal. It is yet unexplored how the act of directing visual attention away from/towards emotional aspects impacts on cognitive reappraisal in MD. Thus, we examined the role of attentional deployment during cognitive reappraisal (specifially during distancing) in adolescent MD. 36 MD adolescents and 37 healthy controls (12–18 years) performed a cognitive reappraisal task during which they a) down-regulated self-reported negative affective responses to negative pictures via distancing, or b) simply attended to the pictures. During the task, attentional focus was systematically varied by directing participants' gaze to emotional vs. non-emotional picture aspects. The validity of this experimental manipulation was checked by continuous eye-tracking during the task. Across groups and gaze focus conditions, distancing diminished negative affective responses to the pictures. Regulation success significantly differed between groups dependent on gaze focus: MD adolescents showed relatively less regulation success than controls in the emotional gaze focus condition, while the reverse was true for the non-emotional gaze focus condition. The results suggest that in MD adolescents, an emotional context might interfere with emotion regulatory aims. The findings can provide an important starting point for the development of innovative training regimes that target deficient reappraisal processes in adolescents suffering from MD.
Kristen R Hamilton; Jason F Smith; Stefanie F Gonçalves; Jazlyn A Nketia; Olivia N Tasheuras; Mark Yoon; Katya Rubia; Theresa J Chirles; Carl W Lejuez; Alexander J Shackman
Striatal bases of temporal discounting in early adolescents Journal Article
In: Neuropsychologia, 144 , pp. 1–11, 2020.
Steeper rates of temporal discounting—the degree to which smaller-sooner (SS) rewards are preferred over larger-later (LL) ones—have been associated with impulsive and ill-advised behaviors in adolescence. Yet, the underlying neural systems remain poorly understood. Here we used a well-established temporal discounting paradigm and functional MRI (fMRI) to examine engagement of the striatum—including the caudate, putamen, and ventral striatum (VS)—in early adolescence (13–15 years; N = 27). Analyses provided evidence of enhanced activity in the caudate and VS during impulsive choice. Exploratory analyses revealed that trait impulsivity was associated with heightened putamen activity during impulsive choices. A more nuanced pattern was evident in the cortex, with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex mirroring the putamen and posterior parietal cortex showing the reverse association. Taken together, these observations provide an important first glimpse at the distributed neural systems underlying economic choice and trait-like individual differences in impulsivity in the early years of adolescence, setting the stage for prospective-longitudinal and intervention research.
Mingjian He; William C Heindel; Matthew R Nassar; Elizabeth M Siefert; Elena K Festa
In: Neurobiology of Aging, 91 , pp. 136–147, 2020.
Enhanced processing following a warning cue is thought to be mediated by a phasic alerting response involving the locus coeruleus-noradrenergic (LC-NA) system. We examined the effect of aging on phasic alerting using pupil dilation as a marker of LC-NA activity in conjunction with a novel assessment of task-evoked pupil dilation. While both young and older adults displayed behavioral and pupillary alerting effects, reflected in decreased RT and increased pupillary response under high (tone) versus low (no tone) alerting conditions, older adults displayed a weaker pupillary response that benefited more from the alerting tone. The strong association between dilation and speed displayed by older adults in both alerting conditions was reduced in young adults in the high alerting condition, suggesting that in young (but not older) adults the tone conferred relatively little behavioral benefit beyond that provided by the alerting effect elicited by the target. These findings suggest a functioning but deficient LC-NA alerting system in older adults, and help reconcile previous results concerning the effects of aging on phasic alerting.
Coralie Hemptinne; Nicolas Deravet; Jean Jacques Orban de Xivry; Philippe Lefèvre; Demet Yüksel
In: Journal of Computational Neuroscience, pp. 1–11, 2020.
This study analyzed the characteristics of pursuit and assessed the influence of prior and visual information on eye velocity and saccades in amblyopic and control children, in comparison to adults. Eye movements of 41 children (21 amblyopes and 20 controls) were compared to eye movements of 55 adults (18 amblyopes and 37 controls). Participants were asked to pursue a target moving at a constant velocity. The target was either a ‘standard' target, with a uniform color intensity, or a ‘noisy' target, with blurry edges, to mimic the blurriness of an amblyopic eye. Analysis of pursuit patterns showed that the onset was delayed, and the gain was decreased in control children with a noisy target in comparison to amblyopic or control children with a standard target. Furthermore, a significant effect of prior and visual information on pursuit velocity and saccades was found across all participants. Moreover, the modulation of the effect of visual information on the pursuit velocity by group, that is amblyopes or controls with a standard target, and controls with a noisy target, was more limited in children. In other words, the effect of visual information was higher in control adults with a standard target compared to control children with the same target. However, in the case of a blurry target, either in control participants with a noisy target or in amblyopic participants with a standard target, the effect of visual information was larger in children.
Annina K Hessel; Kate Nation; Victoria A Murphy
In: Scientific Studies of Reading, pp. 1–21, 2020.
This experiment investigated comprehension monitoring in children learning English as an additional language (EAL) compared to monolinguals. Sixty-three 9–10-year-old children read texts containing an internal inconsistency (e.g. a barking kitten vs. barking puppy) while their eye movements were monitored. Standardized tests measured word reading fluency and vocabulary size and the children completed a questionnaire tapping rereading behavior. There was no overall difference between EAL and monolingual children. Regardless of EAL status, children with larger vocabularies were more efficient in their re-analysis of inconsistent information, as revealed by regressive eye movements. As efficient re-analysis of inconsistent information is essential for comprehension and is ubiquitous in proficient readers, the presence of this pattern in the children is indicative of successful online monitoring. However, rereading of inconsistent vs consistent words in the eye movement record was not related to children's self-reported rereading, not providing any support for deliberate rereading. Our findings indicate that successful online monitoring relies on strong word knowledge leading to efficient processing of texts, both for bilingual and monolingual children, and beyond deliberate rereading.
Christopher Hilton; Sebastien Miellet; Timothy J Slattery; Jan Wiener
In: Psychological Research, 84 (6), pp. 1473–1484, 2020.
Typically aged adults show reduced ability to learn a route compared to younger adults. In this experiment, we investigate the role of visual attention through eye-tracking and engagement of attentional resources in age-related route learning deficits. Participants were shown a route through a realistic virtual environment before being tested on their route knowledge. Younger and older adults were compared on their gaze behaviour during route learning and on their reaction time to a secondary probe task as a measure of attentional engagement. Behavioural results show a performance deficit in route knowledge for older adults compared to younger adults, which is consistent with previous research. We replicated previous findings showing that reaction times to the secondary probe task were longer at decision points than non-decision points, indicating stronger attentional engagement at navigationally relevant locations. However, we found no differences in attentional engagement and no differences for a range of gaze measures between age groups. We conclude that age-related changes in route learning ability are not reflected in changes in control of visual attention or regulation of attentional engagement.
Christopher Hilton; Veronica Muffato; Timothy J Slattery; Sebastien Miellet; Jan Wiener
In: Frontiers in Psychology, 11 , pp. 1–13, 2020.
The ability to recognise places is known to deteriorate with advancing age. In this study, we investigated the contribution of age-related changes in spatial encoding strategies to declining place recognition ability. We recorded eye movements while younger and older adults completed a place recognition task first described by Muffato et al. (2019). Participants first learned places, which were defined by an array of four objects, and then decided whether the next place they were shown was the same or different to the one they learned. Places could be shown from the same spatial perspective as during learning or from a shifted perspective (30° or 60°). Places that were different to those during learning were changed either by substituting an object in the place with a novel object or by swapping the locations of two objects. We replicated the findings of Muffato et al. (2019) showing that sensitivity to detect changes in a place declined with advancing age and declined when the spatial perspective was shifted. Additionally, older adults were particularly impaired on trials in which object locations were swapped; however, they were not differentially affected by perspective changes compared to younger adults. During place encoding, older adults produced more fixations and saccades, shorter fixation durations, and spent less time looking at objects compared to younger adults. Further, we present an analysis of gaze chaining, designed to capture spatio-temporal aspects of gaze behaviour. The chaining measure was a significant predictor of place recognition performance. We found significant differences between age groups on the chaining measure and argue that these differences in gaze behaviour are indicative of differences in encoding strategy between age groups. In summary, we report a direct replication of Muffato et al. (2019) and provide evidence for age-related differences in spatial encoding strategies, which are related to place recognition performance.