Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Infants predict other people´s action goals

19.06.2006
One-year-old children can understand other peoples action goals in exactly the same way as adults do. These results, published in Nature Neuroscience, radically change our view on the development of social communication.

When and how do infants come to understand other people's actions? Understanding others is crucial for social development because it allows the young child to coordinate its own actions with those of others, learn new actions from them, and understand their motives and intentions.

Evidence from neuroscience suggest that the understanding of other people's actions is accomplished by a mirror neuron system that maps the observed actions onto the observer's motor systems, that is, other people's actions are understood in terms of one's own actions. In line with this, adults fixate the goal of an observed action ahead of time in the same way as they fixate the goals of actions performed by themselves.

Do infants also understand the actions of others in this fashion? We found solid evidence for such competences in 12-month-old infants. When they observed a person moving an object between two positions, they moved their gaze to the goal position before the hand arrived there with the object. Six-month-olds, who cannot perform this kind of tasks, did not move their gaze to the goal ahead of time under these conditions.

Instead, they tracked the action with their eyes and arrived at the goal after the action had been completed, indicating poor understanding of the observed action. Furthermore, when presented with objects that moved by themselves, neither 12-months-olds nor adults predicted the goal of the movements.

Our study supports the hypothesis that infants understand other people's actions by a mirror system that maps the observed actions onto their own action system. Furthermore, it shows that such understanding develops during the second half of the first year of life. These findings have dramatic implications for how we conceptualize the development of social communication and competences, like imitation, language and empathy.

Anneli Waara | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/neuro/index.html
http://www.uu.se

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

nachricht Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>