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date: 22 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Tracing the development of attentional deficits and their cascading effects in genetically and functionally defined disorders allows an understanding of intertwined developing systems on three levels. At the cognitive level, attention influences perception, learning, and memory. Attention and other cognitive processes interact to produce cascading effects across developmental time. At a systems neuroscience level, developmental disorders can reveal the systems and mechanisms necessary to attain adults’ efficient attentional processes. At the level of cellular neuroscience and functional genomics, disorders of known genetic aetiology provide inroads into cellular pathways and protein networks leading to attentional deficits across development. This chapter draws from both genetically defined and functionally defined disorders to delineate the complexities and necessity of studying attentional deficits and their neural correlates. Studying developmental disorders highlights the need to study attentional processes and other cognitive processes (e.g. memory and learning) in tandem, given their inseparable nature.

Keywords: developmental disorders, genetic disorders, attention, memory, learning

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