Predicting Real-Life Cognitive Performance from Laboratory Data: A Case for Developmental Studies Using the Attentional Blink

Sabine Heim and Andreas Keil

In an increasingly digital world, complex cognitive skills such as executive control and working memory capacity are crucial for adaptive behavior. In children and adolescents, methods are therefore needed for assessing and predicting strengths and weaknesses in these capacities, opening avenues for intervention and training regimes. This commentary argues that laboratory tasks in combination with suitable brain measures have the potential to address this need, having the potential to quantify and predict specific aspects of cognitive skills in the real world. The so-called attentional blink paradigm and its developmental trajectories are discussed as an example for such an approach.