The visual world is cluttered with many targets and many distractions. Learning requires selecting and stabilizing attention on just some of that information. The proposed research examines the idea that for toddlers, effective visual attention is fundamentally a sensory-motor process involving external bodily actions. The proposed research addresses a gap in current understanding of how sensory- motor behavior supports effective visual attention, a critical gap given the evidence implicating atypical attention in many developmental disorders and the well established co-morbidity of atypical sensory-motor patterns in these same developmental disorders The proposed experiments measure multiple sensory and motor streams: head and hand movements, eye-gaze direction, and the first- person head-centered view as 12 to 24 month old children act on and learn about objects. The studies will provide a fine-grained description of the dynamics of visual attention, of how children's own actions help to sustain and stabilize visual attention, and the role of these processes in learning about objects.

Public Health Relevance

The co-morbidity of motor and cognitive disorders and the link between of excessive movement and poor attentional control are well-known but not well- understood. This research -by linking attention to early sensory-motor coordination - may provide a breakthrough domain for understanding the developmental dependencies between sensory-motor processes and early cognitive development, for early diagnosis, and for early intervention.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
1R21HD068475-01A1
Application #
8230295
Study Section
Cognition and Perception Study Section (CP)
Program Officer
Freund, Lisa S
Project Start
2012-01-08
Project End
2013-12-31
Budget Start
2012-01-08
Budget End
2012-12-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$231,000
Indirect Cost
$81,000
Name
Indiana University Bloomington
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
006046700
City
Bloomington
State
IN
Country
United States
Zip Code
47401
Smith, Linda B; Suanda, Sumarga H; Yu, Chen (2014) The unrealized promise of infant statistical word-referent learning. Trends Cogn Sci 18:251-8
Pereira, Alfredo F; Smith, Linda B; Yu, Chen (2014) A bottom-up view of toddler word learning. Psychon Bull Rev 21:178-85