Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Infants can use previous observations to interpret new ones

30.09.2003


Twelve-month-old infants can use previous observations as a basis to understand new interactions, although five-month-olds cannot, according to a Yale study.

"This finding shows not only that one-year-old infants are paying attention to the actions of others, but that they can focus on a behavior in one scene and use that information to interpret behavior in a different scene," said Valerie Kuhlmeier, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology and lead author of the study published in the September issue of Psychological Science.

The researchers studied the age at which children begin to interpret the behavior of other individuals based on inferences about other persons’ emotions, desires and beliefs. The ability to predict and understand certain mental states is thought to emerge between the ages of three and five years, but there is growing interest in infants’ reasoning about the behavior of others.



In this study the infants sat in high chairs and watched two seven-second computer-animated movies. In the first, a square shape helped push a ball up a hill; in the second, a triangle hindered the ball from moving up the hill. Test movies showed the ball approaching the "helpful" square, and then approaching the "not-so-helpful" triangle. Researchers monitored the infants’ eye movements.

"The 12-month-old infants looked longer at the ball approaching the helper than the ball approaching the hinderer, which means they differentiated between the movies," Kuhlmeier said. "We believe this was because they had ideas about what type of action would be more likely for the ball given its previous interactions."

Adults shown the same movies saw the ball approaching the helper square as a coherent continuation of the first movie, but did not see the same connection when the ball approached the triangle. Five-month-old infants did not make any distinctions.


Co-authors included Karen Wynn and Paul Bloom, both psychology professors at Yale. The study was supported by a National Institute of Mental Health grant.

Citation: Psychological Science, Vol. 14: 402-408 (September 2003)

Jacqueline Weaver | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>