Effects of dietary essential fatty acids on visual attention were explored longitudinally in infant rhesus monkeys with a visual paired-comparison paradigm. Sets of primate faces and of patterns were presented at Weeks 2, 5, 9, and 13 to 9 infants deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and 8 fed a standard nursery diet. Familiarization to 1 member of each pair preceded simultaneous presentation of both stimuli. Infants fed the deficient diet showed longer individual looks in both immediate and 24-hr tests. Duration of looks decreased with age to familiar but not to novel stimuli. The proportion of time looking at the novel stimulus (% novel) increased with age but was not affected by diet. Look duration and % novel were differentially affected and may reflect different underlying processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies