For the study, the researchers examined how 24-month-old infants from the US and China deploy their attention to objects and actions in active scenes.

They found that the two-years-old infants -- who are on the threshold of learning words for objects and actions -- have a great deal in common when observing active scenes.

However, infants' looking patterns in the two cultures diverged significantly for a brief period.

The research raises the possibility that by 24 months, infants' attention may already be shaped subtly by the attentional patterns characteristic of adults in their cultural communities, study said.

The findings appeared in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.


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