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Competition for cognitive resources during rapid serial processing: changes across childhood.

Heim S, Wirth N, Keil A - Front Psychol (2011)

Bottom Line: In the symbol task, younger children linearly increased T2 identification with increasing lag.In the verbal task, the older group again exhibited a prominent drop in T2 identification at Lag 2, whereas the younger group showed a more alleviated and temporally diffuse AB impairment.Taken together, this pattern of results suggests that the control of attention allocation and/or working memory consolidation of targets among distractors represents a cognitive skill that emerges during primary school age.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Research on Individual Development and Adaptive Education, German Institute for International Educational Research Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The ability to direct cognitive resources to target objects despite distraction by competing information plays an important role for the development of mental aptitudes and skills. We examined developmental changes of this ability in a cross-sectional design, using the "attentional blink" (AB) paradigm. The AB is a pronounced impairment of T2 report, which occurs when a first (T1) and second target (T2) embedded in a rapid stimulus sequence are separated by at least one distractor and occur within 500 ms of each other. Two groups of children (6- to 7-year-olds and 10- to 11-year-olds; ns = 21 and 24, respectively) were asked to identify green targets in two AB tasks: one using non-linguistic symbols and the other letters or words. The temporal distance or stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) between T1 and T2 varied between no intervening distractor (Lag 1, 116-ms SOA) and up to 7 intervening distractors (Lag 8, 928-ms SOA). In the symbol task, younger children linearly increased T2 identification with increasing lag. Older children, however, displayed a hook-shaped pattern as typically seen in adults, with lowest identification reports in T2 symbols at the critical blink interval (Lag 2, 232-ms SOA), and a slight performance gain for the Lag 1 condition. In the verbal task, the older group again exhibited a prominent drop in T2 identification at Lag 2, whereas the younger group showed a more alleviated and temporally diffuse AB impairment. Taken together, this pattern of results suggests that the control of attention allocation and/or working memory consolidation of targets among distractors represents a cognitive skill that emerges during primary school age.

No MeSH data available.


Percentage of accurate first target (T1) report at each intertarget interval (T1–T2 lag) of the symbol and verbal tasks (A and B, respectively). Values represent means of 21 younger children (open triangles) and 24 older children (filled triangles). Vertical bars indicate SE of mean.
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Figure 2: Percentage of accurate first target (T1) report at each intertarget interval (T1–T2 lag) of the symbol and verbal tasks (A and B, respectively). Values represent means of 21 younger children (open triangles) and 24 older children (filled triangles). Vertical bars indicate SE of mean.

Mentions: As illustrated in Figure 2A, older participants were generally more accurate in identifying T1 symbols than the younger children, F(1,43) = 13.85, p < 0.001. This was also true for the verbal task, F(1,43) = 19.91, p < 0.001 (Figure 2B). In addition, report of verbal T1s was lag-dependent, F(4,172) = 33.06, p < 0.001, with lowest accuracy at Lag 1. A linear trend analysis on the Lag × Group interaction, F(4,172) = 3.30, p < 0.05, pointed to a significant difference in the steepness of the T1 gradients, indicating that relative impairment in first target identification at Lag 1 was more pronounced for the younger students, F(1,43) = 10.73, p < 0.01.


Competition for cognitive resources during rapid serial processing: changes across childhood.

Heim S, Wirth N, Keil A - Front Psychol (2011)

Percentage of accurate first target (T1) report at each intertarget interval (T1–T2 lag) of the symbol and verbal tasks (A and B, respectively). Values represent means of 21 younger children (open triangles) and 24 older children (filled triangles). Vertical bars indicate SE of mean.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3111399&req=5

Figure 2: Percentage of accurate first target (T1) report at each intertarget interval (T1–T2 lag) of the symbol and verbal tasks (A and B, respectively). Values represent means of 21 younger children (open triangles) and 24 older children (filled triangles). Vertical bars indicate SE of mean.
Mentions: As illustrated in Figure 2A, older participants were generally more accurate in identifying T1 symbols than the younger children, F(1,43) = 13.85, p < 0.001. This was also true for the verbal task, F(1,43) = 19.91, p < 0.001 (Figure 2B). In addition, report of verbal T1s was lag-dependent, F(4,172) = 33.06, p < 0.001, with lowest accuracy at Lag 1. A linear trend analysis on the Lag × Group interaction, F(4,172) = 3.30, p < 0.05, pointed to a significant difference in the steepness of the T1 gradients, indicating that relative impairment in first target identification at Lag 1 was more pronounced for the younger students, F(1,43) = 10.73, p < 0.01.

Bottom Line: In the symbol task, younger children linearly increased T2 identification with increasing lag.In the verbal task, the older group again exhibited a prominent drop in T2 identification at Lag 2, whereas the younger group showed a more alleviated and temporally diffuse AB impairment.Taken together, this pattern of results suggests that the control of attention allocation and/or working memory consolidation of targets among distractors represents a cognitive skill that emerges during primary school age.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Research on Individual Development and Adaptive Education, German Institute for International Educational Research Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The ability to direct cognitive resources to target objects despite distraction by competing information plays an important role for the development of mental aptitudes and skills. We examined developmental changes of this ability in a cross-sectional design, using the "attentional blink" (AB) paradigm. The AB is a pronounced impairment of T2 report, which occurs when a first (T1) and second target (T2) embedded in a rapid stimulus sequence are separated by at least one distractor and occur within 500 ms of each other. Two groups of children (6- to 7-year-olds and 10- to 11-year-olds; ns = 21 and 24, respectively) were asked to identify green targets in two AB tasks: one using non-linguistic symbols and the other letters or words. The temporal distance or stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) between T1 and T2 varied between no intervening distractor (Lag 1, 116-ms SOA) and up to 7 intervening distractors (Lag 8, 928-ms SOA). In the symbol task, younger children linearly increased T2 identification with increasing lag. Older children, however, displayed a hook-shaped pattern as typically seen in adults, with lowest identification reports in T2 symbols at the critical blink interval (Lag 2, 232-ms SOA), and a slight performance gain for the Lag 1 condition. In the verbal task, the older group again exhibited a prominent drop in T2 identification at Lag 2, whereas the younger group showed a more alleviated and temporally diffuse AB impairment. Taken together, this pattern of results suggests that the control of attention allocation and/or working memory consolidation of targets among distractors represents a cognitive skill that emerges during primary school age.

No MeSH data available.