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Selective attention neutralizes the adverse effects of low socioeconomic status on memory in 9-month-old infants

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Socioeconomic status (SES) has a documented impact on brain and cognitive development. We demonstrate that engaging spatial selective attention mechanisms may counteract this negative influence of impoverished environments on early learning. We previously used a spatial cueing task to compare target object encoding in the context of basic orienting (“facilitation”) versus a spatial selective attention orienting mechanism that engages distractor suppression (“IOR”). This work showed that object encoding in the context of IOR boosted 9-month-old infants’ recognition memory relative to facilitation (Markant and Amso, 2013). Here we asked whether this attention-memory links further interacted with SES in infancy. Results indicated that SES was related to memory but not attention orienting efficacy. However, the correlation between SES and memory performance was moderated by the attention mechanism engaged during encoding. SES predicted memory performance when objects were encoded with basic orienting processes, with infants from low-SES environments showing poorer memory than those from high-SES environments. However, SES did not predict memory performance among infants who engaged selective attention during encoding. Spatial selective attention engagement mitigated the effects of SES on memory and may offer an effective mechanism for promoting learning among infants at risk for poor cognitive outcomes related to SES.

No MeSH data available.


(A) SES predicted memory among infants who engaged simple orienting mechanisms during encoding (Facilitation/Baseline). (B) SES was unrelated to memory performance among infants who engaged selective attention (IOR) during encoding.
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Figure 2: (A) SES predicted memory among infants who engaged simple orienting mechanisms during encoding (Facilitation/Baseline). (B) SES was unrelated to memory performance among infants who engaged selective attention (IOR) during encoding.

Mentions: We further investigated the SES × Encoding Cueing Condition interaction effect with separate regression models for each encoding cueing condition. The dependent variable was Memory performance and the predictors were Age and SES. Socioeconomic status was a significant predictor of memory only when objects were encoded in the Facilitation/Baseline cueing conditions, B = 0.37; SE = 0.12; t(58) = 3.09; and p = .003 (Fig. 2A). In these conditions, higher SES predicted relatively longer looking times to novel objects, an index of better memory performance at test. However, SES did not predict memory among infants who engaged selective attention during encoding (IOR cueing condition, B = −.01; SE = 0.09; t(71) = −0.15, p = .885; Fig. 2B)2. Results were similar when we excluded participants where income-to-needs data was imputed; again, SES predicted memory in the Facilitation/Baseline condition, B = 0.32, SE = 0.16; t(44) = 2.01, p = .05, but not in the IOR condition, B = 0.02, SE = 0.10; t(61) = 0.19, p = .850. Taken together, these data suggest that spatial attention at encoding moderates the relation between SES and memory in infancy.


Selective attention neutralizes the adverse effects of low socioeconomic status on memory in 9-month-old infants
(A) SES predicted memory among infants who engaged simple orienting mechanisms during encoding (Facilitation/Baseline). (B) SES was unrelated to memory performance among infants who engaged selective attention (IOR) during encoding.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4834267&req=5

Figure 2: (A) SES predicted memory among infants who engaged simple orienting mechanisms during encoding (Facilitation/Baseline). (B) SES was unrelated to memory performance among infants who engaged selective attention (IOR) during encoding.
Mentions: We further investigated the SES × Encoding Cueing Condition interaction effect with separate regression models for each encoding cueing condition. The dependent variable was Memory performance and the predictors were Age and SES. Socioeconomic status was a significant predictor of memory only when objects were encoded in the Facilitation/Baseline cueing conditions, B = 0.37; SE = 0.12; t(58) = 3.09; and p = .003 (Fig. 2A). In these conditions, higher SES predicted relatively longer looking times to novel objects, an index of better memory performance at test. However, SES did not predict memory among infants who engaged selective attention during encoding (IOR cueing condition, B = −.01; SE = 0.09; t(71) = −0.15, p = .885; Fig. 2B)2. Results were similar when we excluded participants where income-to-needs data was imputed; again, SES predicted memory in the Facilitation/Baseline condition, B = 0.32, SE = 0.16; t(44) = 2.01, p = .05, but not in the IOR condition, B = 0.02, SE = 0.10; t(61) = 0.19, p = .850. Taken together, these data suggest that spatial attention at encoding moderates the relation between SES and memory in infancy.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Socioeconomic status (SES) has a documented impact on brain and cognitive development. We demonstrate that engaging spatial selective attention mechanisms may counteract this negative influence of impoverished environments on early learning. We previously used a spatial cueing task to compare target object encoding in the context of basic orienting (“facilitation”) versus a spatial selective attention orienting mechanism that engages distractor suppression (“IOR”). This work showed that object encoding in the context of IOR boosted 9-month-old infants’ recognition memory relative to facilitation (Markant and Amso, 2013). Here we asked whether this attention-memory links further interacted with SES in infancy. Results indicated that SES was related to memory but not attention orienting efficacy. However, the correlation between SES and memory performance was moderated by the attention mechanism engaged during encoding. SES predicted memory performance when objects were encoded with basic orienting processes, with infants from low-SES environments showing poorer memory than those from high-SES environments. However, SES did not predict memory performance among infants who engaged selective attention during encoding. Spatial selective attention engagement mitigated the effects of SES on memory and may offer an effective mechanism for promoting learning among infants at risk for poor cognitive outcomes related to SES.

No MeSH data available.