Assessing selective sustained attention in 3- to 5-year-old children: evidence from a new paradigm.

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Abstract or Description

Selective sustained attention (SSA) is crucial for higher order cognition. Factors promoting SSA are described as exogenous or endogenous. However, there is little research specifying how these factors interact during development, due largely to the paucity of developmentally appropriate paradigms. We report findings from a novel paradigm designed to investigate SSA in preschoolers. The findings indicate that this task (a) has good psychometric and parametric properties and (b) allows investigation of exogenous and endogenous factors within the same task, making it possible to attribute changes in performance to different mechanisms of attentional control rather than to differences in engagement in different tasks.


Published In

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 114, 2, 275-294.