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Developmental Science

Kaja Jasińska, Sharon Wolf, Matthew C H Jukes, Margaret M Dubeck
Literacy is a powerful tool against poverty, leading to further education and vocational success. In sub-Saharan Africa, school-children commonly learn in two languages-African and European. Multiple early literacy skills (including phonological awareness and receptive language) support literacy acquisition, but this has yet to be empirically tested in sub-Saharan Africa, where learning contexts are highly multilingual, and children are often learning to read in a language they do not speak at home. We use longitudinal data from 1,100 schoolchildren spanning three groups of native languages (Mijikenda languages (Digo, Duruma, Chonyi, and Giriama), Kiswahili, Kikamba) in coastal Kenya (language of instruction: Kiswahili and English)...
March 18, 2019: Developmental Science
Nicola Grossheinrich, Gerd Schulte-Körne, Peter B Marschik, Stefanie Kademann, Waldemar von Suchodoletz, Steffi Sachse
BACKGROUND: Early intervention for children identified as late talkers (LTs) at the age of 24 months is still a controversial issue in research and clinical routine. Previous studies have shown inconsistent results regarding predictors of early lexical deficits on school-age outcomes of late-talking toddlers. METHODS: In a five-wave follow-up study we investigated various aspects of language and literacy abilities in 39 German-speaking third-graders who had been identified as late talkers (LTs) at the age of 24 months, compared to 39 typically developing children (TDC) also attending the third grade...
March 14, 2019: Developmental Science
Tashauna L Blankenship, Madeline A Slough, Susan D Calkins, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Jungmeen Kim-Spoon, Martha Ann Bell
This study provides the first analyses connecting individual differences in infant attention to reading achievement through the development of executive functioning (EF) in infancy and early childhood. Five-month-old infants observed a video, and peak look duration and shift rate were video coded and assessed. At 10 months, as well as 3, 4, and 6 years, children completed age-appropriate EF tasks (A-not-B task, hand game, forward digit span, backwards digit span, and number Stroop). Children also completed a standardized reading assessment and a measure of verbal intelligence (IQ) at age 6...
March 4, 2019: Developmental Science
Tatiana Tikhomirova, Yulia Kuzmina, Irina Lysenkova, Sergey Malykh
In recent years, there has been growing interest among researchers in exploring approximate number sense (ANS) - the ability to estimate and discriminate quantities without the use of symbols. Despite the growing number of studies on ANS, there have been no cross-cultural longitudinal studies to estimate both the development of ANS and the cross-cultural differences in ANS growth trajectories. In this study, we aimed to estimate the developmental trajectories of ANS from the beginning of formal education to the end of elementary school in two countries, Russia and Kyrgyzstan, which have similar organization of their educational systems but differences in socioeconomic status (SES) and in the results of large-scale educational assessments...
February 27, 2019: Developmental Science
Sobanawartiny Wijeakumar, Aarti Kumar, Lourdes Delgado Reyes, Madhuri Tiwari, John P Spencer
There is a growing need to understand the global impact of poverty on early brain and behavioral development, particularly with regard to key cognitive processes that emerge in early development. Although the impact of adversity on brain development can trap children in an intergenerational cycle of poverty, the massive potential for brain plasticity is also a source of hope: reliable, accessible, culturally-agnostic methods to assess early brain development in low resource settings might be used to measure the impact of early adversity, identify infants for timely intervention, and guide the development and monitor the effectiveness of early interventions...
February 25, 2019: Developmental Science
Florie Monier, Sylvie Droit-Volet, Jennifer T Coull
We examined the role of action in motor and perceptual timing across development. Adults and children aged 5 or 8 years old learned the duration of a rhythmic interval with or without concurrent action. We compared the effects of sensorimotor versus visual learning on subsequent timing behavior in 3 different tasks: rhythm reproduction (Experiment 1), rhythm discrimination (Experiment 2) and interval discrimination (Experiment 3). Sensorimotor learning consisted of sensorimotor synchronization (tapping) to an isochronous visual rhythmic stimulus (ISI = 800ms), whereas visual learning consisted of simply observing this rhythmic stimulus...
February 25, 2019: Developmental Science
C J Cook, S J Howard, G Scerif, R Twine, K Kahn, S A Norris, C E Draper
Executive function is foundational for cognitive development. Previous research has shown both gross motor skills and physical activity to be related to executive function. However, evidence for these relationships in the preschool years, as well as in low- and middle-income countries is lacking. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the relationships between components of executive function (inhibition, shifting and working memory) and gross motor skills (locomotor skills and object control skills) in a sample of preschool children from urban and rural low-income settings in South Africa...
February 22, 2019: Developmental Science
Michael T Willoughby, Benjamin Piper, Arbogast Oyanga, Katherine Merseth
Most of what is known about the association between children's executive function (EF) and school readiness skills is derived from research conducted in Western countries. We tested whether these associations were evident in a middle-income country context. Participants were 1,480 children, aged 4 to 7 years old, who participated in an endline assessment of the Tayari program, an early childhood education model that is being delivered by the Kenyan education system. High rates of task completion, low rates of floor effects, and high rates of assessor quality ratings supported the feasibility of large-scale direct assessments of EF with young children...
February 18, 2019: Developmental Science
Connor D O'Rear, Nicole M McNeil
How does improving children's ability to label set sizes without counting affect the development of understanding of the cardinality principle? It may accelerate development by facilitating subsequent alignment and comparison of the cardinal label for a given set and the last word counted when counting that set (Mix et al., 2012). Alternatively, it may delay development by decreasing the need for a comprehensive abstract principle to understand and label exact numerosities (Piantadosi et al., 2012). In the present study, preschoolers (N = 106, Mage = 4;8) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (a) count-and-label, wherein children spent six weeks both counting and labeling sets arranged in canonical patterns like pips on a die; (b) label-first, wherein children spent the first three weeks learning to label the set sizes without counting before spending three weeks identical to the count-and-label condition; (c) print referencing control...
February 18, 2019: Developmental Science
Saloni Krishnan, Kate E Watkins
A recent publication by West and colleagues (2018) highlighted the fact that many tasks used to measure implicit learning in developmental populations are unreliable. As indicated by the title of their paper, West and colleagues suggest this is a problem for the procedural deficit hypothesis (a theory that suggests that procedural learning underlies the impairment in those with developmental language disorders (DLD), Ullman & Pierpont, 2005). In a recent commentary, XXX argue that the experiment conducted by West et al...
February 17, 2019: Developmental Science
S Lloyd-Fox, A Blasi, S McCann, M Rozhko, L Katus, L Mason, T Austin, S E Moore, C E Elwell
The first 1000 days of life are a critical window of vulnerability to exposure to socio-economic and health challenges (i.e. poverty/undernutrition). The Brain Imaging for Global Health (BRIGHT) project has been established to deliver longitudinal measures of brain development from 0-24 months in UK and Gambian infants and to assess the impact of early adversity. Here results from the Habituation-Novelty Detection functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) task at 5 and 8 months are presented (N = 62 UK; N = 115 Gambia)...
February 16, 2019: Developmental Science
Lauren K Slone, Linda B Smith, Chen Yu
Object names are a major component of early vocabularies and learning object names depends on being able to visually recognize objects in the world. However, the fundamental visual challenge of the moment-to-moment variations in object appearances that learners must resolve has received little attention in word learning research. Here we provide the first evidence that image-level object variability matters and may be the link that connects infant object manipulation to vocabulary development. Using head-mounted eye tracking, the present study objectively measured individual differences in the moment-to-moment variability of visual instances of the same object, from infants' first-person views...
February 15, 2019: Developmental Science
Gillian West, Miguel A Vadillo, David R Shanks, Charles Hulme
West et al. (2018) examined the relationship between implicit learning and reading and language attainment in 7- to 8-year-old children. The implicit learning tasks had poor reliability and did not correlate with language or reading skills. These findings raise problems for the claim that Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) and Dyslexia are caused (at least in part) by a deficit in procedural learning (the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH)). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
February 12, 2019: Developmental Science
Rosalind D Butterfield, Greg Siegle, Kyung Hwa Lee, Cecile D Ladouceur, Erika E Forbes, Ronald E Dahl, Neal D Ryan, Lisa Sheeber, Jennifer S Silk
The ways parents socialize their adolescents to cope with anxiety (i.e. coping socialization) may be instrumental in the development of threat processing and coping responses. Coping socialization may be important for anxious adolescents, as they show altered neural threat processing and over-reliance on disengaged coping (e.g., avoidance and distraction), which can maintain anxiety. We investigated whether coping socialization was associated with anxious and healthy adolescents' neural response to threat, and whether neural activation was associated with disengaged coping...
February 11, 2019: Developmental Science
Marta Rubio-Codina, Sally Grantham-McGregor
Large gaps in cognition and language on the Bayley-III between the top and bottom household wealth quartiles in 1,330 children aged 6-42 months in a representative sample of low- and middle-income families in Bogota were previously shown. Maternal education and the home environment mediated these wealth effects, whereas height-for-age mediated a small amount of the language deficit only. At ages 6-8 years, we relocated 72% of the children and assessed their IQ on the WISC-V, school achievement, and behavior to investigate the evolution of the wealth gaps and potential mediators...
February 11, 2019: Developmental Science
Christopher M Conway, Joanne Arciuli, Jarrad A G Lum, Michael T Ullman
In a recent paper ("The procedural learning deficit hypothesis of language learning disorders: We see some problems", Developmental Science, 2018), West, Vadillo, Shanks, and Hulme (2018) aimed to test the procedural deficit hypothesis (PDH) of specific language impairment (SLI) and dyslexia. This hypothesis proposes that abnormalities of brain structures underlying procedural memory can largely explain SLI, and perhaps developmental dyslexia (Ullman, 2004; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005; see also Nicolson & Fawcett, 2007, 2011)...
February 11, 2019: Developmental Science
Marco Lunghi, Elena Serena Piccardi, John E Richards, Francesca Simion
The ability to detect social signals represents a first step to enter our social world. Behavioral evidence has demonstrated that 6-month-old infants are able to orient their attention towards the position indicated by walking direction, showing faster orienting responses towards stimuli cued by the direction of motion than towards uncued stimuli. The present study investigated the neural mechanisms underpinning this attentional priming effect by using a spatial cueing paradigm and recording EEG (Geodesic System 128 channels) from 6-month-old infants...
February 11, 2019: Developmental Science
Leher Singh, Paul C Quinn, Naiqi G Xiao, Kang Lee
Bilingualism exerts early and pervasive effects on cognition, observable in infancy. Thus far, investigations of infant bilingual cognition have focused on sensitivity to visual memory, executive function, and linguistic sensitivity. Much less research has focused on how bilingualism impacts processing of social cues. The present study sought to investigate whether bilingualism modulates the expression of one aspect of social processing: early racial bias. Using a gaze following paradigm, we investigated whether 18-20-month-old monolingual and bilingual infants favored their own race...
February 9, 2019: Developmental Science
Bosiljka Milosavljevic, Perijne Vellekoop, Helen Maris, Drew Halliday, Saikou Drammeh, Lamin Sanyang, Momodou K Darboe, Clare Elwell, Sophie E Moore, Sarah Lloyd-Fox
Infants in low-resource settings are at heightened risk for compromised cognitive development due to a multitude of environmental insults in their surroundings. However, the onset of adverse outcomes and trajectory of cognitive development in these settings is not well understood. The aims of the present study were to adapt the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) for use with infants in a rural area of The Gambia, to examine cognitive development in the first 24-months of life and to assess the association between cognitive performance and physical growth...
February 9, 2019: Developmental Science
Jessica Wise Younger, K Lee, Ö E Demir-Lira, James R Booth
Socioeconomic status (SES) has been shown to influence language skills, with children of lower SES backgrounds performing worse on language assessments compared to their higher SES peers. While there is abundant behavioral research on the effects of SES, whether there are differences in the neural mechanisms used to support language skill is less established. In the current study, we examined the relation between maternal education (ME), a component of SES, and neural mechanisms of language. We focused on Kindergarten children, at the beginning of formal reading education, and on a pre-reading skill, phonological awareness (PA) - the ability to distinguish or manipulate the sounds of language...
February 8, 2019: Developmental Science
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