The effects of dietary taurine on visual recognition memory and visual attention were measured with visual paired comparison tests in infant rhesus monkeys. Infants (6 per group) were fed one of two human infant soy-protein formulas: taurine-free (-T) or taurine-supplemented (+T). The infants were tested at 2.0, 3.5, 5.0, and 9.0 weeks of age using eight pairs of patterns and eight pairs of photographs of primate faces. The -T infants had higher novelty preference for faces, higher total looks at faces and patterns at 2 weeks and at patterns at 9 weeks, and a higher number and proportion of shifts between pattern stimuli at 9 weeks. They also showed increased attention, as estimated by the total time looking during the tests at 2 weeks and decreased time to reach a criterion of 10 s of fixation during familiarization at 9 weeks. Thus, contrary to expectation, -T infants had higher scores on several measures associated with more advanced cognitive functioning.
- cognitive development
- novelty preference
- rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) primate
- visual paired comparisons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology