Research Topic

It's irrelevant for the task but interesting! - How children process and attend to task-irrelevant information

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In an ever changing environment, it is essential to focus attention towards the task at hand and to shield against attentional distraction through task-irrelevant events. On the other hand, the focussing of attention on task-irrelevant events allows an adaptation of behavior which can be essential for other ...

In an ever changing environment, it is essential to focus attention towards the task at hand and to shield against attentional distraction through task-irrelevant events. On the other hand, the focussing of attention on task-irrelevant events allows an adaptation of behavior which can be essential for other tasks. In general, the ability to deal efficiently with task- irrelevant events and control selective attention processes increases during childhood. The development of attentional control is closely connected to the brain maturation, especially of the prefrontal cortex.

Processing and attending to task-irrelevant events depends on several bottom-up and top- down factors, such as physical parameters or the significance of a stimulus. It has been shown that task-irrelevant but significant (meaningful, target-informative, emotional etc.) events can affect task-related processing, attentional orienting, and even task performance in a different manner than non significant events. Current research with children suggests that the underlying processes develop with different time courses.

The present Research Topic focuses on the development of selective attention in the context of task-irrelevant but significant vs. non significant events. This Research Topic aims to integrate studies involving children from birth to adolescence, using different modalities, different paradigms, and different methods of measuring performance or brain responses.

We encourage experts in the field of the development of the processing of task-irrelevant information, attentional orienting and distraction, attentional control, and related fields to submit

(1) Original research manuscripts (behavioral, psychophysiological, neuroimaging, or combined experimental studies) using different kinds of paradigms. This Research Topic focuses on studies with healthy subjects but also studies investigating patients and healthy controls are welcome.

(2) Reviews and discussions of the existing literature which integrate the results of several research fields or form concepts of general models.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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