The objectives are to study the development of sustained attention in young infants and to relate development in sustained attention to concurrent heart rate (HR) changes and brain activity (EEG, ERP).
The specific aims are: 1) To study sustained, subject-controlled attention in infants from 14 to 26 weeks of age, and to study the effect of attention on eye movements to complex / dynamic peripheral stimuli, and continue the study of attention to video programs in infants and young children from 6 months through 2 years of age; 2) To study the cortical basis of planned eye movements and recognition memory in young infants with high-density EEG and ERP, and to study the effect of attention on infant saccade planning and infant recognition memory; 3) To develop realistic models of cortical source analysis using infant anatomical MRI, to accurately identify brain areas that control the effect of sustained attention on eye movements, attention, and recognition memory. This research examines the patterns of attention found in normal children, relates those attention patterns to physiological processes (HR, EEG, ERP), examines potential brain areas that may be involved in those attention patterns, and may provide a 'model preparation' for the study of children with irregular patterns of attention. Some research will examine how infant attention to complex audiovisual stimuli such as children's video programs affects basic attention processes. Other research will use high-density EEG recording to Infer cortical sources of infant attention and recognition memory. A novel advance of the grant is the use of individual infant participant's structural MRIs to develop cortical models for source analysis and measure brain structural development. Models of cortical source analysis using realistic models of Infants brain and head will be developed to examine the cortical sources of ERP. Tools for the cortical source analysis of infant EEG and ERP will be developed and put on a online database for use by other researchers interested in infant and child neuroscience.

Public Health Relevance

The current project examines the development of infant attention to complex audiovisual video stimuli and also studies the relation between brain development and attention. This research examines the pattern of attention development found in typically developing infants and young children. This work may provide a model preparation for studying abnormal pattems of attention found in neurodevelopmental disorders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
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Freund, Lisa S
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University of South Carolina at Columbia
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Xie, Wanze; Richards, John E (2016) Effects of interstimulus intervals on behavioral, heart rate, and event-related potential indices of infant engagement and sustained attention. Psychophysiology 53:1128-42
Richards, John E; Sanchez, Carmen; Phillips-Meek, Michelle et al. (2016) A database of age-appropriate average MRI templates. Neuroimage 124:1254-9
Guy, Maggie W; Zieber, Nicole; Richards, John E (2016) The Cortical Development of Specialized Face Processing in Infancy. Child Dev 87:1581-600
Xie, Wanze; Richards, John E (2016) The Relation between Infant Covert Orienting, Sustained Attention and Brain Activity. Brain Topogr :
Fillmore, Paul T; Phillips-Meek, Michelle C; Richards, John E (2015) Age-specific MRI brain and head templates for healthy adults from 20 through 89 years of age. Front Aging Neurosci 7:44
Lloyd-Fox, Sarah; Wu, Rachel; Richards, John E et al. (2015) Cortical activation to action perception is associated with action production abilities in young infants. Cereb Cortex 25:289-97
Fillmore, Paul T; Richards, John E; Phillips-Meek, Michelle C et al. (2015) Stereotaxic Magnetic Resonance Imaging Brain Atlases for Infants from 3 to 12 Months. Dev Neurosci 37:515-32
Emberson, Lauren L; Richards, John E; Aslin, Richard N (2015) Top-down modulation in the infant brain: Learning-induced expectations rapidly affect the sensory cortex at 6 months. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:9585-90
Richards, John E; Boswell, Corey; Stevens, Michael et al. (2015) Evaluating methods for constructing average high-density electrode positions. Brain Topogr 28:70-86
Xie, Wanze; Richards, John E; Lei, Du et al. (2015) The construction of MRI brain/head templates for Chinese children from 7 to 16 years of age. Dev Cogn Neurosci 15:94-105

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