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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 second target (T2) report given first target (T1) identification at five T1–T2 lags 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 3: Percentage of accurate second target (T2) report given first target (T1) identification at five T1–T2 lags 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: Figure 3A depicts the mean percentage of accurate T2 report contingent on the correctly identified T1 in the symbol task at each lag for the two participant groups. Older participants outperformed the younger overall, F(1,43) = 49.01, p < 0.001. Furthermore, Group membership interacted with Lag, F(4,172) = 3.86, p < 0.01: while the younger children linearly increased T2 report with increasing lag, F(1,43) = 29.43, p < 0.001, the older children exhibited a quadratic pattern, F(1,43) = 21.50, p < 0.001. Planned comparisons confirmed significant group differences at two positions in the non-verbal AB profile: first, only older participants showed sparing of T2 report (∼16%) at Lag 1 versus Lag 2, F(1,43) = 10.18, p < 0.01; second, the decrease in performance by the AB effect (Lag 2) relative to T2 symbol identification at the latest intertarget interval (Lag 8) was larger in the older (∼32%) than in the younger students (∼16%), F(1,43) = 9.03, 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 second target (T2) report given first target (T1) identification at five T1–T2 lags 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 3: Percentage of accurate second target (T2) report given first target (T1) identification at five T1–T2 lags 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: Figure 3A depicts the mean percentage of accurate T2 report contingent on the correctly identified T1 in the symbol task at each lag for the two participant groups. Older participants outperformed the younger overall, F(1,43) = 49.01, p < 0.001. Furthermore, Group membership interacted with Lag, F(4,172) = 3.86, p < 0.01: while the younger children linearly increased T2 report with increasing lag, F(1,43) = 29.43, p < 0.001, the older children exhibited a quadratic pattern, F(1,43) = 21.50, p < 0.001. Planned comparisons confirmed significant group differences at two positions in the non-verbal AB profile: first, only older participants showed sparing of T2 report (∼16%) at Lag 1 versus Lag 2, F(1,43) = 10.18, p < 0.01; second, the decrease in performance by the AB effect (Lag 2) relative to T2 symbol identification at the latest intertarget interval (Lag 8) was larger in the older (∼32%) than in the younger students (∼16%), F(1,43) = 9.03, 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.