Social contexts shape the development of attention; however, little is known about joint attention beyond infancy. This study employed behavioral and eye-tracking measurements to investigate cultural variations in how caregivers direct 3- to 4-year-old children's attention and subsequent changes in children's attention to objects and contextual backgrounds in the United States (predominantly non-Hispanic Whites) and Japan (N = 60 mother-child dyads, 29 girls, 31 boys). The findings revealed that caregivers directed children's attention to culturally sensitive information, and significant cross-cultural differences in attention emerged after caregiver–child interaction, with Japanese children shifting their attention to the backgrounds. Results provide new insights into the role of social interaction and cultural diversity in the development of attention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas