Title
Gaze aversion during social interaction in preterm infants : a function of attention skills? Gaze aversion during social interaction in preterm infants : a function of attention skills?
Author
Faculty/Department
University Hospital Antwerp
Publication type
article
Publication
Norwood, N.J. ,
Subject
Psychology
Source (journal)
Infant behavior and development. - Norwood, N.J.
Volume/pages
35(2012) :1 , p. 129-139
ISSN
0163-6383
ISI
000299492600012
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Preterm infants avert their gaze more often and for longer periods in early social interactions compared to full term infants. In previous studies this finding is interpreted as being a function of the higher degree of parental stimulation that is often found in parents of preterm children. The current study explores an additional hypothesis. Since the development of general visual attention abilities is found to be less optimal in preterm children, it is possible that less optimal maturation of attention abilities partially explains the elevated gaze aversion in a social context. Therefore, the current study investigated the association between gaze aversion in a social context and the ability to disengage and shift visual attention in a non-social context in 20 preterm and 42 full term infants aged 4 and 6 months. Results confirm that preterm infants are slower to shift their attention in a non-social context and that they avert their gaze more often in a social context compared to full term children. Furthermore, more frequent gaze aversion during social interaction at 6 months was related to longer disengagement and the shifting of attention at 4 and 6 months, but only within the preterm group. The results suggest that attention maturation is less optimal in preterm children; this can be observed in a non-social as well as a social context. Less attention maturation in preterm children can negatively influence the amount of time they can stay actively involved in social interaction. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/eb66d9/1f91239.pdf
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