Document Detail

Infants' understanding of actions performed by mechanical devices.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21723548     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Recent research suggests that 9-month-old infants tested in a modified version of the A-not-B search task covertly imitate actions performed by the experimenter. The current study examines whether infants also simulate actions performed by mechanical devices, and whether this varies with whether or not they have been familiarized with the devices and their function. In Experiment 1, infants observed hiding and retrieving actions performed by a pair of mechanical claws on the A-trials, and then searched for the hidden toy on the B-trial. In Experiment 2, infants were first familiarized with the experimenter and the claws but not their function. In Experiment 3, infants were familiarized with the function of the claws. The results revealed that search errors were at chance levels in Experiments 1 and 2, but a significant proportion of the infants showed the A-not-B error in Experiment 3. These results suggest that 9-month-old infants are less likely to simulate observed actions performed by mechanical devices than by human agents, unless they are familiarized with the function of the devices so that their actions are perceived as goal-directed.
Ty W Boyer; J Samantha Pan; Bennett I Bertenthal
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-6-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cognition     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1873-7838     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-7-4     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0367541     Medline TA:  Cognition     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Indiana University, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, IN, United States.
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