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The temporal relationship between reduction of early imitative responses and the development of attention mechanisms

By Benga Oana, Sukigara Masune and Nakagawa Atsuko


<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>To determine whether early imitative responses fade out following the maturation of attentional mechanisms, the relationship between primitive imitation behaviors and the development of attention was examined in 4-month-old infants. They were divided into high and low imitators, based on an index of imitation. The status of attention was assessed by studying inhibition of return (IOR). Nine-month-old infants were also tested to confirm the hypothesis.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The IOR latency data replicate previous results that infants get faster to produce a covert shift of attention with increasing age. However, those 4-month-olds who showed less imitation had more rapid saccades to the cue before target presentation.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The cortical control of saccade planning appears to be related to an apparent drop in early imitation. We interpret the results as suggesting a relationship between the status of imitation and the neural development of attention-related eye movement.</p

Topics: Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry, RC321-571, Internal medicine, RC31-1245, Medicine, R, DOAJ:Neurology, DOAJ:Medicine (General), DOAJ:Health Sciences, Neurophysiology and neuropsychology, QP351-495
Publisher: BioMed Central
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1186/1471-2202-4-33
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