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Development of Spatial Orientation in Two-to-Three-Year-Old Children in Relation to Lifestyle Factors

1
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, 6525 EN Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2
Medical and Scientific Affairs, Reckitt|Mead Johnson Nutrition Institute, 6545 CJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University, 6525 GD Nijmegen, The Netherlands
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Oliviero Bruni
Nutrients 2022, 14(16), 3322; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14163322
Received: 30 June 2022 / Revised: 5 August 2022 / Accepted: 8 August 2022 / Published: 13 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Nutrition)
Various lifestyle factors, including diet, physical activity, and sleep, have been studied in the context of children’s health. However, how these lifestyle factors contribute to the development of cognitive abilities, including spatial cognition, remains vastly understudied. One landmark in spatial cognitive development occurs between 2.5 and 3 years of age. For spatial orientation at that age, children learn to use allocentric reference frames (using spatial relations between objects as the primary reference frame) in addition to, the already acquired, egocentric reference frames (using one’s own body as the primary reference frame). In the current virtual reality study in a sample of 30–36-month-old toddlers (N = 57), we first demonstrated a marginally significant developmental shift in spatial orientation. Specifically, task performance with allocentric performance increased relative to egocentric performance (ηp2 = 0.06). Next, we explored a variety of lifestyle factors, including diet, in relation to task performance, to explain individual differences. Screen time and gestational weight gain of the mother were negatively associated with spatial task performance. The findings presented here can be used to guide future confirmatory studies about the role of lifestyle factors in the development of spatial cognition. View Full-Text
Keywords: lifestyle; cognition; development; toddlers; egocentric; allocentric; virtual reality; screen time; gestational weight gain lifestyle; cognition; development; toddlers; egocentric; allocentric; virtual reality; screen time; gestational weight gain
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MDPI and ACS Style

van Dun, C.; Lisi, I.; van Diepen, J.; Gross, G.; Janzen, G.; Aarts, E. Development of Spatial Orientation in Two-to-Three-Year-Old Children in Relation to Lifestyle Factors. Nutrients 2022, 14, 3322. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14163322

AMA Style

van Dun C, Lisi I, van Diepen J, Gross G, Janzen G, Aarts E. Development of Spatial Orientation in Two-to-Three-Year-Old Children in Relation to Lifestyle Factors. Nutrients. 2022; 14(16):3322. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14163322

Chicago/Turabian Style

van Dun, Claudia, Ilaria Lisi, Janna van Diepen, Gabriele Gross, Gabriele Janzen, and Esther Aarts. 2022. "Development of Spatial Orientation in Two-to-Three-Year-Old Children in Relation to Lifestyle Factors" Nutrients 14, no. 16: 3322. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14163322

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