Embodied Infant Attention

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  • Source:
    Developmental Science, v12 n2 p297-304 Mar 2009.
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    Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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    • Abstract:
      Does real time coupling between mental and physical activity early in development have functional significance? To address this question, we examined the habituation of visual attention and the subsequent response to change in two groups of 3-month-olds with different patterns of movement-attention coupling. In suppressors, the typical decrease in body movement at the onset of looks persists into the looks. In rebounders, the initial decrease is more transient and movement quickly returns above baseline. Suppressors and rebounders did not differ on measures of looking during habituation, but when the stimulus changed rebounders looked more than suppressors. When it did not change, they looked less. In addition, during habituation rebounders spent more time looking away from the stimulus. Rapid motor reactivation soon after gaze locks onto a target, characteristic of rebounders, may influence visual foraging and the response to change by keeping attention near a threshold of engagement.
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