Visual expectation was assessed in 103 black 6.5-month-olds using Haith, Hazan, and Goodman's paradigm and related to performance on standard developmental assessments and tests of information processing skill. As expected, percent anticipations was higher and RT lower than in 3.0-month-olds previously tested. Split-half and left-right correlations for the RT measures were moderate and similar to those previously reported, as was split-half reliability for percent anticipations. The 2 RT measures were related to fixation duration on both visual recognition memory (VRM) and cross-modal transfer, suggesting moderate cross-task and cross-age consistency in processing speed. Percent anticipations and baseline RT each contributed independently to the prediction of VRM novelty preference. Data from a factor analysis suggested 3 dimensions of cognitive function: processing speed, developmental level, and memory/attention. These findings suggest that the visual expectation paradigm provides a reliable new approach for assessing cognitive processing efficiency and attention during infancy.
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