Developmental Behavioral Genetic Research on Infant Information Processing: Detection of Continuity and Change

  • Lee A. Thompson
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 161)


The first infant intelligence tests assumed that cognitive development was a continuous process from infancy through adulthood. However, as the attempts to create a predictive infant test failed time after time, a discontinuity theory became the favored perspective. Recent evidence indicates that the continuity theory may not have been adequately tested and that cognitive development should be viewed from a more balanced perspective consisting of both change and continuity. In this chapter I will address the issue of continuities and discontinuities in mental development from infancy to adulthood using a developmental behavioral genetic approach. Data from the Colorado Adoption Project and from the Colorado Infant Twin Project will be used to support the following hypotheses: (1) measures of infant visual information processing administered during the first year of life will relate to later I.Q.; (2) these measures are genetically influenced during infancy; and (3) continuity of individual differences in intelligence from infancy to adulthood is at least in part genetically mediated.


Genetic Correlation Assortative Mating General Cognitive Ability Adoptive Family Infant Test 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee A. Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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