Developmental Science (Dev Sci )

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing

Description

Developmental Science publishes cutting-edge theory and up-to-the-minute research on scientific developmental psychology from leading thinkers in the field. New scientific findings and in-depth empirical studies are published, with coverage including species comparative, compuational modelling, social and biological approaches to development as well as cognitive development. Increasing emphasis will be placed on papers that bridge levels of explanation in developmental science, such as between brain growth and perceptual, cognitive and social development (sometimes called "developmental cognitive neuroscience"), and those which cover emerging areas such as functional neuroimaging of the developing brain.

  • Impact factor
    3.89
  • 5-year impact
    4.60
  • Cited half-life
    4.70
  • Immediacy index
    0.67
  • Eigenfactor
    0.02
  • Article influence
    1.98
  • Website
    Developmental Science website
  • ISSN
    1467-7687
  • OCLC
    260063241
  • Material type
    Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Blackwell Publishing

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • Some journals impose embargoes typically of 6 or 12 months, occasionally of 24 months
    • no listing of affected journals available as yet
  • Conditions
    • See Wiley-Blackwell entry for articles after February 2007
    • Publisher version cannot be used
    • On author or institutional or subject-based server
    • Server must be non-commercial
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with set statement ("The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com ")
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley-Blackwell'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Developing readers often make anagrammatical errors (e.g. misreading pirates as parties), suggesting they use letter position flexibly during word recognition. However, while it is widely assumed that the occurrence of these errors decreases with increases in reading skill, empirical evidence to support this distinction is lacking. Accordingly, we compared the performance of developing child readers (aged 8-10 years) against the end-state performance of skilled adult readers in a timed naming task, employing anagrams used previously in this area of research. Moreover, to explore the use of letter position by developing readers and skilled adult readers more fully, we used anagrams which, to form another word, required letter transpositions over only interior letter positions, or both interior and exterior letter positions. The patterns of effects across these two anagram types for the two groups of readers were very similar. In particular, both groups showed similarly slowed response times (and developing readers increased errors) for anagrams requiring only interior letter transpositions but not for anagrams that required exterior letter transpositions. This similarity in the naming performance of developing readers and skilled adult readers suggests that the end-state skilled use of letter position is established earlier during reading development than is widely assumed.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Sentence repetition tasks are widely used in the diagnosis and assessment of children with language difficulties. This paper seeks to clarify the nature of sentence repetition tasks and their relationship to other language skills. We present the results from a 2-year longitudinal study of 216 children. Children were assessed on measures of sentence repetition, vocabulary knowledge and grammatical skills three times at approximately yearly intervals starting at age 4. Sentence repetition was not a unique longitudinal predictor of the growth of language skills. A unidimensional language latent factor (defined by sentence repetition, vocabulary knowledge and grammatical skills) provided an excellent fit to the data, and language abilities showed a high degree of longitudinal stability. Sentence repetition is best seen as a reflection of an underlying language ability factor rather than as a measure of a separate construct with a specific role in language processing. Sentence repetition appears to be a valuable tool for language assessment because it draws upon a wide range of language processing skills.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Infants can see someone pointing to one of two buckets and infer that the toy they are seeking is hidden inside. Great apes do not succeed in this task, but, surprisingly, domestic dogs do. However, whether children and dogs understand these communicative acts in the same way is not yet known. To test this possibility, an experimenter did not point, look, or extend any part of her body towards either bucket, but instead lifted and shook one via a centrally pulled rope. She did this either intentionally or accidentally, and did or did not address her act to the subject using ostensive cues. Young 2-year-old children but not dogs understood the experimenter's act in intentional conditions. While ostensive pulling of the rope made no difference to children's success, it actually hindered dogs' performance. We conclude that while human children may be capable of inferring communicative intent from a wide variety actions, so long as these actions are performed intentionally, dogs are likely to be less flexible in this respect. Their understanding of communicative intention may be more dependent upon bodily markers of communicative intent, including gaze, orientation, extended limbs, and vocalizations. This may be because humans have come under selective pressure to develop skills for communicating with absent interlocutors – where bodily co-presence is not possible.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research shows that preverbal infants can reason about single-case probabilities without relying on observed frequencies, adapting their predictions to relevant dynamic parameters of the situation (Téglás, Vul, Girotto, Gonzalez, Tenenbaum & Bonatti, 2011; Téglás, Girotto, Gonzalez & Bonatti, 2007). Here we show that intuitions of probabilities may derive from the ability to represent a limited number of possibilities. After watching a scene containing moving objects of two ensembles, 12-month-olds looked longer at an unlikely than at a likely single-case outcome when the objects were within the parallel individuation range. However, they did not do so when the scene contained the same ratio between ensembles but a larger number of objects. At the same time, they could form rational expectations about single-case outcomes in scenes containing the same large number of objects when they could exploit subtle physical parameters induced by the objects’ movements and their spatial configuration. Our findings demonstrate that at early stages of development the mental representations involved in probability estimations of future individual situations are powerful and sophisticated, but at the same time they depend on infants’ overall cognitive architecture, being constrained by the numerical representations spontaneously induced by the situations.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Humans are routinely required to coordinate with others. When communication is not possible, adults often achieve this by using salient cues in the environment (e.g. going to the Eiffel Tower, as an obvious meeting point). To explore the development of this capacity, we presented dyads of 3-, 5-, and 8-year-olds (N = 144) with a coordination problem: Two balls had to be inserted into the same of four boxes to obtain a reward. Identical pictures were attached to three boxes whereas a unique – and thus salient – picture was attached to the fourth. Children either received one ball each, and so had to choose the same box (experimental condition), or they received both balls and could get the reward independently (control condition). In all cases, children could neither communicate nor see each other's choices. Children were significantly more likely to choose the salient option in the experimental condition than in the control condition. However, only the two older age groups chose the salient box above chance levels. This study is the first to show that children from at least age 5 can solve coordination problems by converging on a salient solution.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human children possess the ability to approximate numerical quantity nonverbally from a young age. Over the course of early childhood, children develop increasingly precise representations of numerical values, including a symbolic number system that allows them to conceive of numerical information as Arabic numerals or number words. Functional brain imaging studies of adults report that activity in bilateral regions of the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) represents a key neural correlate of numerical cognition. Developmental neuroimaging studies indicate that the right IPS develops its number-related neural response profile more rapidly than the left IPS during early childhood. One prediction that can be derived from previous findings is that there is longitudinal continuity in the number-related neural responses of the right IPS over development while the development of the left IPS depends on the acquisition of numerical skills. We tested this hypothesis using fMRI in a longitudinal design with children ages 4 to 9. We found that neural responses in the right IPS are correlated over a 1–2-year period in young children whereas left IPS responses change systematically as a function of children's numerical discrimination acuity. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that functional properties of the right IPS in numerical processing are stable over early childhood whereas the functions of the left IPS are dynamically modulated by the development of numerical skills.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: While behavioral and educational data characterize a fourth grade shift in reading development, neuroscience evidence is relatively lacking. We used the N400 component of the event-related potential waveform to investigate the development of single word processing across the upper elementary years, in comparison to adult readers. We presented third graders, fourth graders, fifth graders, and college students with a well-controlled list of real words, pseudowords, letter strings, false font strings, and animal name targets. Words and pseudowords elicited similar N400s across groups. False font strings elicited N400s similar to words and letter strings in the three groups of children, but not in college students. The pattern of findings suggests relatively adult-like semantic and phonological processing by third grade, but a long developmental time course, beyond fifth grade, for orthographic processing in this context. Thus, the amplitude of the N400 elicited by various word-like stimuli does not reflect some sort of shift or discontinuity in word processing around the fourth grade. However, the results do suggest different developmental time courses for the processes that contribute to automatic single word reading and the integrative N400.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
  • Camilla M. McMahon, Heather A. Henderson
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    ABSTRACT: Error-monitoring, or the ability to recognize one's mistakes and implement behavioral changes to prevent further mistakes, may be impaired in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children and adolescents (ages 9–19) with ASD (n = 42) and typical development (n = 42) completed two face processing tasks that required discrimination of either the gender or affect of standardized face stimuli. Post-error slowing and the difference in Error-Related Negativity amplitude between correct and incorrect responses (ERNdiff) were used to index error-monitoring ability. Overall, ERNdiff increased with age. On the Gender Task, individuals with ASD had a smaller ERNdiff than individuals with typical development; however, on the Affect Task, there were no significant diagnostic group differences on ERNdiff. Individuals with ASD may have ERN amplitudes similar to those observed in individuals with typical development in more social contexts compared to less social contexts due to greater consequences for errors, more effortful processing, and/or reduced processing efficiency in these contexts. Across all participants, more post-error slowing on the Affect Task was associated with better social cognitive skills.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: How do young children learn about causal structure in an uncertain and variable world? We tested whether they can use observed probabilistic information to solve causal learning problems. In two experiments, 24-month-olds observed an adult produce a probabilistic pattern of causal evidence. The toddlers then were given an opportunity to design their own intervention. In Experiment 1, toddlers saw one object bring about an effect with a higher probability than a second object. In Experiment 2, the frequency of the effect was held constant, though its probability differed. After observing the probabilistic evidence, toddlers in both experiments chose to act on the object that was more likely to produce the effect. The results demonstrate that toddlers can learn about cause and effect without trial-and-error or linguistic instruction on the task, simply by observing the probabilistic patterns of evidence resulting from the imperfect actions of other social agents. Such observational causal learning from probabilistic displays supports human children's rapid cultural learning.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Facial appearances can powerfully influence adults' trust behaviour, despite limited evidence that these cues constitute honest signals of trustworthiness. It is not clear, however, whether the same is also true for children. The current study investigated whether, like adults, 5-year-olds and 10-year-olds are more likely to place their trust in partners that look trustworthy than those that look untrustworthy. A second, closely related question was whether children also explicitly value the information from face cues when making trust decisions. We investigated these questions using Token Quest: an economic trust game that gave participants the opportunity to make investments with a series of partners who might (or might not) repay their trust with large returns. These interactions occurred under different conditions, including one in which participants were shown the face of each partner and another in which they could ‘purchase’ access to faces with a portion of their investment capital. Results indicated that, like adults, 10-year-old children selectively placed their trust in those partners they perceived as looking trustworthy and many were willing to ‘pay’ to purchase access to these face cues during the trust game. We observed a similar profile of trust behaviour in 5-year-olds, with no significant group difference in the impact of face cues on behaviour across the three age groups. Together, these findings indicate that the influence of face cues on trust behaviour emerges early, and highlight a capacity for sophisticated social cognition in young children.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We tested the capacity to perceive visual expressions of emotion, and to use those expressions as guides to social decisions, in three groups of 8- to 10-year-old Romanian children: children abandoned to institutions then randomly assigned to remain in ‘care as usual’ (institutional care); children abandoned to institutions then randomly assigned to a foster care intervention; and community children who had never been institutionalized. Experiment 1 examined children's recognition of happy, sad, fearful, and angry facial expressions that varied in intensity. Children assigned to institutional care had higher thresholds for identifying happy expressions than foster care or community children, but did not differ in their thresholds for identifying the other facial expressions. Moreover, the error rates of the three groups of children were the same for all of the facial expressions. Experiment 2 examined children's ability to use facial expressions of emotion to guide social decisions about whom to befriend and whom to help. Children assigned to institutional care were less accurate than foster care or community children at deciding whom to befriend; however, the groups did not differ in their ability to decide whom to help. Overall, although there were group differences in some abilities, all three groups of children performed well across tasks. The results are discussed in the context of theoretical accounts of the development of emotion processing.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Traditionally, crawling and sitting are considered distinct motor behaviors with different postures and functions. Ten- to 12-month-old infants were observed in the laboratory or in their homes while being coaxed to crawl continuously over long, straight walkways (Study 1; N = 20) and during spontaneous crawling during free play (Study 2; N = 20). In every context, infants stopped crawling to sit 3–6 times per minute. Transitions from crawling to sitting frequently turned infants' bodies away from the direction of heading; subsequent transitions back to crawling were offset by as much as 180° from the original direction of heading. Apparently, body reorientations result from the biomechanics of transitioning between crawling and sitting. Findings indicate that sustained, linear crawling is likely an epiphenomenon of how gait is studied in standard paradigms. Postural transitions between crawling and sitting are ubiquitous and can represent a functional unit of action. These transitions and the accompanying body reorientations likely have cascading effects for infants' exploration, visual perception, and spatial cognition.
    Developmental Science 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: How does object recognition emerge in the newborn brain? To address this question, I examined the information content of the first visual object representation built by newly hatched chicks (Gallus gallus). In their first week of life, chicks were raised in controlled-rearing chambers that contained a single virtual object rotating around a single axis. In their second week of life, I tested whether subjects had encoded information about the identity and viewpoint of the virtual object. The results showed that chicks built object representations that contained both object identity information and view-specific information. However, there was a trade-off between these two types of information: subjects who were more sensitive to identity information were less sensitive to view-specific information, and vice versa. This pattern of results is predicted by iterative, hierarchically organized visual processing machinery, the machinery that supports object recognition in adult primates. More generally, this study shows that invariant object recognition is a core cognitive ability that can be operational at the onset of visual object experience.
    Developmental Science 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In this 8-year longitudinal study, we traced the vocabulary growth of Chinese children, explored potential precursors of vocabulary knowledge, and investigated how vocabulary growth predicted future reading skills. Two hundred and sixty-four (264) native Chinese children from Beijing were measured on a variety of reading and language tasks over 8 years. Between the ages of 4 to 10 years, they were administered tasks of vocabulary and related cognitive skills. At age 11, comprehensive reading skills, including character recognition, reading fluency, and reading comprehension were examined. Individual differences in vocabulary developmental profiles were estimated using the intercept-slope cluster method. Vocabulary development was then examined in relation to later reading outcomes. Three subgroups of lexical growth were classified, namely high-high (with a large initial vocabulary size and a fast growth rate), low-high (with a small initial vocabulary size and a fast growth rate) and low-low (with a small initial vocabulary size and a slow growth rate) groups. Low-high and low-low groups were distinguishable mostly through phonological skills, morphological skills and other reading-related cognitive skills. Childhood vocabulary development (using intercept and slope) explained subsequent reading skills. Findings suggest that language-related and reading-related cognitive skills differ among groups with different developmental trajectories of vocabulary, and the initial size and growth rate of vocabulary may be two predictors for later reading development.
    Developmental Science 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: How impressionable are in-group biases in early childhood? Previous research shows that young children display robust preferences for members of their own social group, but also condemn those who harm others. The current study investigates children's evaluations of agents when their group membership and moral behavior conflict. After being assigned to a minimal group, 4- to 5-year-old children either saw their in-group member behave antisocially, an out-group member act prosocially, or control agents, for whom moral information was removed. Children's explicit preference for and willingness to share with their in-group member was significantly attenuated in the presence of an antisocial in-group member, but not a prosocial out-group member. Interestingly, children's learning decisions were unmoved by a person's moral behavior, instead being consistently guided by group membership. This demonstrates that children's in-group bias is remarkably flexible: while moral information curbs children's in-group bias on social evaluations, social learning is still driven by group information.
    Developmental Science 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Adults and 12-month-old infants recognize that even unfamiliar speech can communicate information between third parties, suggesting that they can separate the communicative function of speech from its lexical content. But do infants recognize that speech can communicate due to their experience understanding and producing language, or do they appreciate that speech is communicative earlier, with little such experience? We examined whether 6-month-olds recognize that speech can communicate information about an object. Infants watched a Communicator selectively grasp one of two objects (target). During test, the Communicator could no longer reach the objects; she turned to a Recipient and produced speech (a nonsense word) or non-speech (coughing). Infants looked longer when the Recipient selected the non-target than the target object when the Communicator spoke but not when she coughed – unless the Recipient had previously witnessed the Communicator's selective grasping of the target object. Our results suggest that at 6 months, with a receptive vocabulary of no more than a handful of commonly used words, infants possess some abstract understanding of the communicative function of speech. This understanding may provide an early mechanism for language and knowledge acquisition.
    Developmental Science 05/2014;
  • Developmental Science 05/2014;

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