What is it about?

Attentional control in infancy has been postulated as foundational for the development later in life. To better understand the development of attention in infancy and how it is related to other functions or abilities, we used a data-driven method and examined the longitudinal eye-tracking data to establish stable markers of attention in infancy.

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Why is it important?

Our findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that attentional development in infancy is steady. However, the relation between early attentional control and self-regulation later in life is unsupported. The field needs further investigations that explore the developmental pathways that lead to self-regulation, emphasizing the multi-phased nature of development. Theory and testable models specifically designed to assess early emerging foundations of self-regulation are essential models that acknowledge the complexity of the task at hand.


I hope this article can provide a new aspect to rethink how attention develops and what it leads to the development of self-regulation later in life. What can be stated with certainty is the following. To date, there is little evidence that attention early in infancy is strongly and uniquely associated with self-regulation during childhood.

Hsing-Fen Tu
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

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This page is a summary of: Attentional control is a stable construct in infancy but not steadily linked with self-regulatory functions in toddlerhood., Developmental Psychology, April 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/dev0001362.
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