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The current study investigated a new, easily administered, visual inhibition task for infants termed the Freeze-Frame task. In the new task, 9-month-olds were encouraged to inhibit looks to peripheral distractors. This was done by briefly freezing a central animated stimulus when infants looked to the distractors. Half of the trials presented an engaging central stimulus, and the other half presented a repetitive central stimulus. Three measures of inhibitory function were derived from the task and compared with performance on a set of frontal cortex tasks administered at 9 and 24 months of age. As expected, infants' ability to learn to selectively inhibit looks to the distractors at 9 months predicted performance at 24 months. However, performance differences in the two Freeze-Frame trial types early in the experiment also turned out to be an important predictor. The results are discussed in terms of the validity of the Freeze-Frame task as an early measure of different components of inhibitory function.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jecp.2007.09.004

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Exp Child Psychol

Publication Date

06/2008

Volume

100

Pages

89 - 114

Keywords

Attention, Child, Preschool, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Infant, Infant Behavior, Inhibition (Psychology), Male, Pilot Projects, Space Perception, Surveys and Questionnaires, Videotape Recording