Christiane’s work on attention development in the brain is now online in Cerebral Cortex (click here or on the picture below to get your free copy).
We investigated age-related changes in attention skills in 4-7 year old children and how they are reflected in the changes in an important attention network in the brain. We found for one, that as expected, all the types of attention skills showed age-related improvements - the 7-year-olds were better at it than the 4-year-olds. Interestingly, we also found that being better in one specific attention skill went hand-in-hand with increased cross-talk within nodes of the brain network independent of the children’s age: selective attention. Selective attention is the type of attention that you need when you play "Where's Waldo?”. It is also important for reading or math skills, and the way it develops has implications for children who aren’t as good at it than others.