Document Detail

Infants' imitation of goal-directed actions: the role of movements and action effects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17078915     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This paper reviews studies on infants' imitation of goal-directed actions in the first two years of life. Special emphasis is given to the role of the two observable components of an action, that is, the movement and the action effects, on infants' replication of target actions. The reviewed studies provide evidence that infants benefit most from a full demonstration of both movements and effects. If movements are demonstrated in isolation, infants may encode this information, but they preferentially reproduce actions that lead to salient effects. If action effects are presented in isolation, infants younger than 19 months usually fail to emulate the unseen movements that would be necessary to produce these effects. Infants' ability to predict action effects or to infer unseen movements from incomplete demonstrations improves substantially at the end of the second year of life. It is concluded that the capability to learn relations between movements and action effects by observation, and the knowledge about movement-effect relations acquired so far, may be important factors underlying the developmental changes in infants' imitation of goal-directed actions.
Birgit Elsner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review     Date:  2006-10-31
Journal Detail:
Title:  Acta psychologica     Volume:  124     ISSN:  0001-6918     ISO Abbreviation:  Acta Psychol (Amst)     Publication Date:  2007 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-12-25     Completed Date:  2007-03-09     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370366     Medline TA:  Acta Psychol (Amst)     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  44-59     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Hauptstrasse 47-51, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Imitative Behavior / physiology*
Infant Behavior / psychology*
Motor Activity / physiology*
Movement / physiology*
Psychomotor Performance / physiology

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