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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cellular Self-Digestion Process Triggers Autoimmune Disease

13.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>