Predicting Preschool-Aged Children’s Behavior Regulation from Attention Tasks in the Lab


One challenge in studying cognition over the lifespan is designing tasks that measure the same construct in different age groups and relate reliably to real-world outcomes. The current study confronts this challenge by testing a new paradigm to assess attention in preschool-aged children for comparison with other measures. Children completed the new “Pop-the-Bubbles” paradigm plus Flanker and Visual Search tasks, for comparison with parental reports of behavioral regulation. Correlations between behavioral regulation and measures from both Flanker and Pop-the-Bubbles suggest that children’s ability to ignore irrelevant stimuli in these lab tasks relates to their ability to behave appropriately in everyday situations. Further development of Pop-the-Bubbles for eye-tracking and a color version of Flanker are underway to test these relationships more extensively in young children.

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