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Attention in Early DevelopmentThemes and Variations$
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Holly Alliger Ruff and Mary Klevjord Rothbart

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195136326

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195136326.001.0001

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(p.241) 13 Recapitulation
Attention in Early Development

Holly Alliger Ruff

Mary Klevjord Rothbart

Oxford University Press

This chapter briefly summarizes the two broad systems of attention: the orienting/investigative system observed from early infancy, and the second system emerging by one year, and supporting the development of voluntary and planned action throughout the pre-school period. Learning is influenced by both of these systems, but the nature of learning changes as the child develops greater internal control of attention. Individual differences in attention also develop across this period and are related to individual differences in temperamental activity, inhibitory control, and ability to control distress. Deficits in attention are related to extremes in reactivity, the ability to regulate arousal, and the ability to mobilize and sustain effort over time.

Keywords:   attention systems, orienting/investigation, executive control, learning, effortful control, temperament

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