Culture would shape the development of children's attention.

Attention is a cognitive function involved in many contexts. As with other cognitive functions, it develops gradually throughout life under influence of many factors. According to scientists, it is even shaped by culture. We already know that a mother's voice would activate many more brain areas in her child than previously thought. As for joint attention with him, scientific knowledge is still lacking. Even if this dimension of attention is one of its least known forms, it arouses the interest of many scientists. As previous studies have shown, the For the first time, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (United States) and Waseda University (Japan) looked at the joint attention of mothers - and their children - from different cultures. The novelty of this curiosity? The place of cultural difference in mother-child interaction and its impact on preschool children's attention development. Their results were published in the journal Child Development on January 31, 2022. Describe, alone or accompanied Why did the researchers specifically choose children between the ages of 3 and 4? One of the study researchers, Japanese professor of psychology Sanzaki Sawa, specifies this choice to Sciences et Avenir. Between the ages of 3 and 4, children "are unlikely to exhibit culturally unique patterns of attention without parental influence." In other words, studying the attention of children of this age for whom learning is still in its infancy would make it possible to know whether the joint attention with regard to drawings, for example, can have repercussions on what the child looks at, when left to its own devices. And all the more so when the cultural and social dimension gets involved! Therefore, the scientists carried out the following experiment: they presented drawings to mothers and their children. Each duo was Japanese or American. The presentation of these drawings was first made to children alone, so that the researchers in psychology make sure of one thing: at the age of 3 or 4 years, the attention of children is not yet too different from one individual to another. Then, the pairs had to describe the drawings, and the researchers took the opportunity to examine their speech. When culture meets the attention The researchers first noticed differences between the Japanese and American duos. Contrary to American mothers who directed their child's attention to the central elements of the image, Japanese mothers directed their child's attention to the "social" interactions between the various objects or characters drawn. "They could, for example, tell their child: "the birds say hello to the rabbit"; while American mothers directed their speech differently by saying for example: "Look! There is a rabbit on a farm. He seems to be having a good day." says Sanzaki Sawa, professor emeritus in psychology and author of the study. Thus, by emphasizing social relations during a common description with their child, the discourse of Japanese mothers would have induced in their children an attention more concerned with the context of the image than that of American mothers. During joint descriptions, cultural and social dimensions come into play, which, according to the researchers, does not affect the later development of the attention of the two cultural groups of children. To observe these supposed changes in children's attention, once again left alone for the description of the drawings, the scientists recorded their eye movements. They thus noticed that after having interacted with their mother, the eye movements of the children of the two continents were different: they did not pay attention to the same elements on the drawing. In fact, "young children initially exhibit object-oriented attention in the same way across cultures, and divergent developmental pathways emerge later due to socialization to their country's cultural norms," said the study authors. Finally, for scientists, this would be proof that once again attests to the impact of cultural diversity in the development of attention and, more broadly, in cognition. seen in Sciences et Avenir- Nicolas Mahaut

Culture would shape the development of children's attention.

Attention is a cognitive function involved in many contexts. As with other cognitive functions, it develops gradually throughout life...