Przemyslaw Tomalski

Przemyslaw Tomalski
Polish Academy of Sciences | PAN · Institute of Psychology

PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

About

50
Publications
15,830
Reads
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1,048
Citations
Introduction
Developmental cognitive neuroscientist from Warsaw, Poland. Investigating how infant-parent interactions shape brain and cognitive development. Tracking the development of the social brain and the effects of early adversity.
Additional affiliations
November 2019 - present
Polish Academy of Sciences
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2016 - present
University of Warsaw
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
February 2012 - June 2016
University of Warsaw
Position
  • Head of Department
Education
November 2015 - June 2016
University of Warsaw
Field of study
  • psychology
October 2005 - November 2008
Birkbeck, University of London
Field of study
  • Psychology
October 2001 - July 2005
University of Warsaw
Field of study
  • Psychology (Major), Molecular Biology (minor)

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
Efficient attention control is fundamental for infant cognitive development, but its early precursors are not well understood. We investigated whether dyadic visual attention during parent-infant interactions at 5 months of age predicts the ability to control attention at 11 months of age. Total duration of mutual gaze was assessed during free play...
Article
Full-text available
Multiple visual attention mechanisms are active already in infancy, most notably one supporting orienting towards stimuli and another, maintaining appropriate levels of alertness, when exploring the environment. They are thought to depend on separate brain networks, but their effects are difficult to isolate in existing behavioural paradigms. Bette...
Article
Full-text available
Efficient visual exploration in infancy is essential for cognitive and language development. It allows infants to participate in social interactions by attending to faces and learning about objects of interest. Visual scanning of scenes depends on a number of factors and early differences in efficiency are likely contributing to differences in lear...
Article
Full-text available
In the 1st year of life, infants gradually gain the ability to control their eye movements and explore visual scenes, which support their learning and emerging cognitive skills. These gains include domain-general skills such as rapid orienting or attention disengagement as well as domain-specific ones such as increased sensitivity to social stimuli...
Article
Full-text available
Infants’ limb movements evolve from disorganized to more selectively coordinated during the first year of life as they learn to navigate and interact with an ever-changing environment more efficiently. However, how these coordination patterns change during the first year of life and across different contexts is unknown. Here, we used wearable motio...
Research
Full-text available
Dwujęzyczność jest normą, choć wiąże się nie tylko z korzyściami, ale i z wyzwaniami! Zwracamy się do wszystkich osób, które w swojej pracy zawodowej stykają się z dziećmi dwujęzycznymi. Jesteśmy świadomi, że funkcjonowanie dzieci dwujęzycznych w kontekstach edukacyjno-społecznych ma swoją specyfikę. Dzieci te mogą wymagać wsparcia odmiennego niż d...
Research
Full-text available
On 9th December 2021 a group of 23 Polish researchers working in the areas of multilingualism, child development, language acquisition and learning, speech & language disorders, and related topics, announced an appeal to all professionals working with bi- and multilingual children. The appeal points to the basic facts about bilingual development th...
Conference Paper
Recent progress in the study of infant motor development has been achieved by ground-breaking paradigm shifts combined with clever and innovative tasks that place the infant center stage as the acting subject. One of the challenges that developmental scientists are facing today is understanding the complexity of infants’ spontaneous movements. Nove...
Article
Full-text available
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive optical brain monitoring technology for mapping the functioning of the human cortex in response to sensory or motor activation. There is a growing interest in implementing fNIRS to monitor the cognitive performance of military pilots. The method relies on differences in hemoglobin abso...
Article
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Eye-tracking measurement of looking is the fundamental method in infancy research. Over the last few decades it has provided many of the most significant discoveries in developmental psychology. Infants engage in looking tasks and use their bodies for learning differently from adults, yet, the breadth of their behavioural repertoire and the constra...
Article
Sensory symptoms are common in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) but the patterns of these symptoms vary. Early assessment of sensory processing is therefore crucial for diagnosis and early intervention. However, studies in this area are conducted almost exclusively in English-speaking populations. In our study, we examined sensory p...
Article
Full-text available
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social communication skills and flexible behaviour. Developing new treatment approaches for ASD requires early identification of the factors that influence later behavioural outcomes. One fruitful research paradigm has been the prospective study of infants with a first deg...
Article
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is commonly conceived as the extreme end of a continuum. Research suggests that autistic individuals outperform typically developing controls in visual search. Thus, enhanced visual search may represent an adaptive trait associated with ASD. Here, using a large general population sample (N = 608, aged 9–14 years), we...
Article
Full-text available
Standard looking-duration measures in eye-tracking data provide only general quantitative indices, while details of the spatiotemporal structuring of fixation sequences are lost. To overcome this, various tools have been developed to measure the dynamics of fixations. However, these analyses are only useful when stimuli have high perceptual similar...
Article
Full-text available
Percepcja mowy obejmuje informacje pochodzące z wielu zmysłów. Integracja informacji polimodalnych jest jednym z procesów składowych przetwarzania języka i ma istotne znaczenie dla percepcji mowy nie tylko w dorosłości, ale także od pierwszych miesięcy życia. W niniejszym artykule prezentujemy wybiórczy przegląd najważniejszych badań nad mózgowymi...
Article
Full-text available
The analysis of parent-child interactions is crucial for the understanding of early human development. Manual coding of interactions is a time-consuming task, which is a limitation in many projects. This becomes especially demanding if a frame-by-frame categorization of movement needs to be achieved. To overcome this, we present a computational app...
Article
Full-text available
Engagement with stakeholders is an essential part of the research process. This is particularly the case for early autism research with infant cohorts and their families, where a range of ethical issues are pertinent. Here, we report on a large survey of parents who have a child on the autism spectrum (n = 1040) which specifically probed attitudes...
Article
Full-text available
Early adversity has profound long-term consequences for child development across domains. The effects of early adversity on structural and functional brain development were shown for infants under 12 months of life. However, the causal mechanisms of these effects remain relatively unexplored. Using a visual habituation task we investigated whether...
Article
Europe is diverse in terms of economy, cultures, socio-demography, and languages. A crucial aspect of psychiatric research is the availability of standardized screening, diagnostic, and characterization instruments. We fine-mapped the accessibility of 14 clinical scales and cognitive tests for the assessment of early childhood Autism Spectrum Disor...
Article
Full-text available
Investigation into the earliest signs of autism in infants has become a significant sub-field of autism research. This work invokes specific ethical concerns such as use of ‘at-risk’ language, communicating study findings to parents and the future perspective of enrolled infants when they reach adulthood. This study aimed to ground this research fi...
Article
Even in infancy children from low-SES backgrounds differ in frontal cortex functioning and, by the start of pre-school, they frequently show poor performance on executive functions including attention control. These differences may causally mediate later difficulties in academic learning. Here, we present a study to assess the feasibility of using...
Article
Full-text available
Apart from their remarkable phonological skills young infants prior to their fi rst birthday show ability to match the mouth articulation they see with the speech sounds they hear. Th ey are able to detect the audiovisual confl ict of speech and to selectively att end to articulating mouth depending on audiovisual congruency. Early audiovisual spee...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work suggests that differences in functional brain development are already identifiable in 6- to 9-month-old infants from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds. Investigation of early SES-related differences in neuro-cognitive functioning requires the recruitment of large and diverse samples of infants, yet it is often difficult to per...
Article
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Efficient processing of gaze direction and facial expression of emotion is crucial for early social and emotional development. Toward the end of the first year of life infants begin to pay more attention to negative expressions, but it remains unclear to what extent emotion expression is processed jointly with gaze direction at this age. This study...
Article
Full-text available
Johnson and Morton (1991) used Gabriel Horn's work on the filial imprinting model to inspire a two-process theory of the development of face processing in humans. In this paper we review evidence accrued over the past two decades from infants and adults, and from other primates, that informs this two-process model. While work with newborns and infa...
Article
Full-text available
It may seem a truism to state that development is dynamic, not static. Yet the literature continues to use the pheno-typic end state of the mature adult brain as a rather static framework for understanding genotype/phenotype relations and as an explanatory model for neurodevel-opmental disorders. Indeed, disorders are often explained in terms of in...
Article
Full-text available
Socioeconomic status (SES) impacts on both structural and functional brain development in childhood, but how early its effects can be demonstrated is unknown. In this study we measured resting baseline EEG activity in the gamma frequency range in awake 6-9-month-olds from areas of East London with high socioeconomic deprivation. Between-subject com...
Article
Full-text available
Research on audiovisual speech integration has reported high levels of individual variability, especially among young infants. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that this variability results from individual differences in the maturation of audiovisual speech processing during infancy. A developmental shift in selective attention to audi...
Article
Full-text available
The use of visual cues during the processing of audiovisual speech is known to be less efficient in children and adults with language difficulties and difficulties are known to be more prevalent in children from low-income populations. In the present study, we followed an economically diverse group of thirty-seven infants longitudinally from 6-9 mo...
Article
Full-text available
Young infants are capable of integrating auditory and visual information and their speech perception can be influenced by visual cues, while 5-month-olds detect mismatch between mouth articulations and speech sounds. From 6 months of age, infants gradually shift their attention away from eyes and towards mouth in articulating faces, potentially to...
Article
Full-text available
The language difficulties often seen in individuals with autism might stem from an inability to integrate audiovisual information, a skill important for language development. We investigated whether 9-month-old siblings of older children with autism, who are at an increased risk of developing autism, are able to integrate audiovisual speech cues. W...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioral studies demonstrate that the efficiency of detection of faces is dependent on configural and contrast polarity information characteristic to human faces. Stimulus inversion or contrast polarity reversal can disrupt this process. We investigated whether a face-sensitive event-related potential component, the N170, is modulated by the orie...
Article
Full-text available
It has been suggested that poor habituation to stimuli might explain atypical sensory behaviours in autism. We investigated habituation to repeated sounds using an oddball paradigm in 9-month-old infants with an older sibling with autism and hence at high risk for developing autism. Auditory-evoked responses to repeated sounds in control infants (a...
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in neuroimaging methods have provided new ways of unravelling the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors that influence functional brain development in the critical first years of life. This has allowed new insights into the effects that early adverse experience can exert on the brain later in life. We review re...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work suggests that a subcortical visual route may mediate rapid orienting towards faces in the visual periphery. We now demonstrate that this orienting bias towards faces shows a temporal-nasal visual field asymmetry of responses, supporting the view that it is mediated by extrageniculate pathways. Upright schematic face-like pattern elicite...
Article
Full-text available
Human faces under natural illumination, and human eyes in their unique morphology, include specific contrast polarity relations that face-detection mechanisms could capitalise on. Newborns have been shown to preferentially orient to simple face-like patterns only when they contain face- or gaze-relevant contrast. We investigated whether human adult...

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
In this project we study the emergence of turn-taking in infant-parent interactions in terms of infant limb and body movements using wearable inertial motion units (IUMs). We also investigate the associations between limb movements and emerging vocal production in infants.
Project
Use new analysis methods to study complexity of eye movements that can shed more light on infants visual foraging strategies.
Project
From birth, humans pay special attention to faces and human voice and our brains seem especially attuned to rapidly learn about these aspects of interacting humans from early. Our daily experience of other people is typically multisensory, yet, over the last few decades research on language and communication development in infancy, including phonological development, was focused primarily on speech as an auditory phenomenon. The idea that visual information about speech may play an important role in shaping infant knowledge of speech sounds has only recently attracted more attention. New research on perception of audiovisual speech (speaking faces) showed the importance of visual speech information (mouth movements) for the infant’s phonological knowledge as well as language comprehension and production throughout subsequent years of life. There is growing evidence that in the human brain representations of speech may be inherently multimodal in nature and that they include visual speech cues, while key parts of the “social brain” network, such as posterior part of the superior temporal sulcus integrate visual information about faces with visual and auditory speech information. In the project we employ new models of integration of speech and face processing in the adult brain to better understand the development of visual and audiovisual speech processing in infancy, between the ages of 5.5 and 10 months. A period of rapid changes in face and speech perception, it involves the narrowing of perceptual skills to native language speech sounds and faces of own species. In our project we will investigate whether these perceptual changes are related to the integration of neural pathways for face and speech processing. In particular, we will investigate the changes in temporal cortex sensitivity to visual and audiovisual speech, as well as probe the association between neural mechanisms for audiovisual speech processing and for configural face processing.