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August 2021

The relationship between sustained attention and cognitive performance in 17-24-month old toddlers

Author(s): Gorman, K. S.

Journal/Book: Infant Child Dev. 2000; 9: Baffins Lane Chichester, W Sussex PO19 1UD, England. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 127-146.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate individual differences in sustained attention and task performance with toddlers. Participants were 61 17-24-month old toddlers. Indices of sustained attention (duration of attention and frequency of off-task glances) were assessed during two 4 min problem solving tasks, and then related to problem solving and the mental scale of the Bayley scales of infant development-II (BSID-II). As expected, toddlers who attended to tasks for longer periods of time were more successful at problem solving, and had higher scores on the BSID-II than toddlers who attended for shorter periods of time. In addition, older toddlers had longer attention spans, more frequent off-task glances, and were more successful at problem solving than younger toddlers. Interestingly, toddlers with more frequent off-task glances had longer attention spans, were more successful at problem solving, and had higher BSID-II scores than peers with fewer off-task glances. These findings suggest that although behavioural indices can be used to identify sustained attention, the relationship between behaviours thought to capture distractibility and attention is more complex than had been previously assumed. Results are discussed in the context of current theories of infant attention and cognitive performance.

Note: Article Choudhury N, Rutgers State Univ, Ctr Mol & Behav Neurosci, Infancy Studies Lab, Newark,NJ 07102 USA

Keyword(s): problem solving; sustained attention; toddlers; INFANTS MANIPULATIVE EXPLORATION; RECOGNITION-MEMORY; INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES; VISUAL-ATTENTION; PRETERM INFANTS; CHILDREN; DISTRACTIBILITY; INTELLIGENCE; 6-MONTH-OLD; MODEL


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