This is an NIH Independent Scientist Award, which is designed to foster the development of outstanding scientists and enable them to expand their potential to make significant contributions to their field of research. The overarching aim of this project is to make basic research in infant and child development more easily translated to applications like atypical development in disorders such as autism and to natural learning contexts such as home or school. Children with autism show a social orienting impairment, with reduced attention to faces, people, and speech. However, little is known about the typical nature, basis and developmental course of attention and perception of social events. Three research directions will be merged to focus on how and under what conditions various aspects of social events (a primary basis for cognitive, perceptual, emotional, and communicative development) become salient, attended, and perceived and how this changes across development. Findings will provide a wealth of critical information about atypical attention in young children with autism and about the typical development of attention between 2- and 36-months of age, at a level of detail that is novel and necessary for the early identification of atypical patterns of development, including social attention deficits characteristic of autism. Findings are designed to be easily translated to real world settings and can serve as a basis for interventions for developmental delays.