The Effect of Disrupted Attention on Encoding in Young Children


There is a growing body of research experimentally demonstrating a relationship between selective sustained attention and young children’s learning outcomes. Collectively, this work has documented that as selective sustained attention decreases children’s learning also declines. However, a precise understanding of how disrupted attention negatively impacts learning is lacking. The present experiment expands upon the existing work and explores three potential mechanisms by which inattention may impede learning: 1) inattention may disrupt encoding of the individual features of the stimulus, 2) inattention may impede children from binding the features together, or 3) inattention may disrupt both feature encoding and binding.

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