Richards, J.E. (2008). Attention in young infants: A developmental psychophysiological perspective. In C.A. Nelson & M. Luciana (Eds.), Handbook of developmental cognitive neuroscience. Cambridge, MA, US: MIT Press.(pdf )
Attention changes dramatically in the period of infancy. Attention is selective and involves the focusing of cognitive processing on specific objects or tasks. Attention also has an arousal aspect, reflecting ehanced processing when attention is engaged. It is commonly thought that the development of attention is based heavily on the age-related changes in brain structures responsible for attention control. The present chapter will do three things. First, two types of brain systems that may be involved in attention and which show development will be reviewed. Second, psychophysiological measures that have been useful in the study of brain-attention relation development in infants will be presented. Finally, several studies will be examined that studied the development of infant attention with these psychophysiological methods. These experiments will be related to changes occurring in the neural systems underlying attention.