Infants face perpetual choices about how to allocate attention. Infants’ attention-span is different than adults’ (and changes throughout the first year), and infants can be more easily distracted and less fluid at shifting attention. More importantly, infants do not know nearly as much as we do about how to allocate and focus attention. In rich everyday environments, which include other people who move (do things!), talk, emote, etc. (an plethora of possible attention-targets!), how do infants learn to seek out, encode, and interpret the most interesting information?
Our research addresses infant attention in social settings: