Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

The development of selective attention in infancy as measured by eye movements  

A question of fundamental importance for all ages is how the overabundance of information in the environment is selectively filtered to allow for coherent information processing. The answer is central to the development of cognition, its efficiency, and its behavioral manifestation. To answer this, we rely on the construct of selective attention, described as the process in which the mind takes hold of one out of a multitude of possible objects while ignoring the others. Selective attention mechanisms are important because processing resources are limited, making processing the immense amount of information in the visual world all at once difficult. For the infant, who is constantly assailed by a multitude of new information and whose processing resources are less efficient and more limited than adults, being capable of selectively attending would seem to be crucial to constructing an organized and detailed representation of their world. This is supported by the fact that certain developmental disabilities, such as attention deficit disorder and autism, are characterized by deficits in the ability to selectively allocate attention. The particular objective of this research, therefore, is to begin to delineate the mechanisms of selective attention in early development by use of a new methodology of assessing infants' eye movements. This research study also has the potential to enable a better understanding of what goes wrong in attentional development when infants and children have trouble selectively filtering the information in their worlds, such as in attention deficit disorder and autism. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $53,376.00
Current Award Period 2010-2012
Project Number 1R03MH085994-01A1
Principal Investigator Adler, Scott
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned? (Diagnosis)
Subcategory Early Signs and Biomarkers
Strategic Plan Objective 1O. Not specific to Question 1 objectives
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution York University
State/Country Canada
Web Link 1 The development of selective attention in infancy as measured by eye movements (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Not available at this time. This functionality is experimental.