Article

Imitation of Televised Models by Infants

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Abstract

Studies indicate that infants in our culture are exposed to significant amounts of TV, often as a baby-sitting strategy by busy caretakers. The question arises whether TV viewing merely presents infants with a salient collection of moving patterns or whether they will readily pick up information depicted in this 2-D representation and incorporate it into their own behavior. Can infants "understand" the content of television enough to govern their real-world behavior accordingly? One way to explore this question is to present a model via television for infants to imitate. Infants' ability to imitate TV models was explored at 2 ages, 14 and 24 months, under conditions of immediate and deferred imitation. In deferred imitation, infants were exposed to a TV depiction of an adult manipulating a novel toy in a particular way but were not presented with the real toy until the next day. The results showed significant imitation at both ages, and furthermore showed that even the youngest group imitated after the 24-hour delay. The finding of deferred imitation of TV models has social and policy implications, because it suggests that TV viewing in the home could potentially affect infant behavior and development more than heretofore contemplated. The results also add to a growing body of literature on prelinguistic representational capacities. They do so in the dual sense of showing that infants can relate 2-D representations to their own actions on real objects in 3-D space, and moreover that the information picked up through TV can be internally represented over lengthy delays before it is used to guide the real-world action.

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... Long-term memory plays an important role in performing imitation (Hanna & Meltzoff, 1993;Meltzoff, 2005). Studies demonstrated that infants and children can imitate the same behavior not only immediately but also after a one-week and up to even a two-or four-month delay (Barr, Dowden, & Hayne, 1996;Meltzoff, 1988Meltzoff, , 1995. This delayed imitation can also happen across various contexts (Hanna & Meltzoff, 1993). ...
... This delayed imitation can also happen across various contexts (Hanna & Meltzoff, 1993). Children saved the information picked up through previous observation for later use (Meltzoff, 1988); therefore, they used their prior experiences to guide imitation (Williamson, Meltzoff, & Markman, 2008). Live demonstration, including face-to-face interactions or videos, facilitates imitation and learning (Meltzoff, 2005(Meltzoff, , 2007. ...
... Infants and children imitate more and learn more effectively in dyadic interactions or group discussions (Meltzoff, 2005). They also learn significantly better through face-to-face communicating with live speakers than listening to audio recordings (Kuhl, Tsao, & Liu, 2003;Meltzoff et al., 2009) or television programs (Meltzoff, 1988). Infants and children show a strong tendency to identify and imitate models in learning (Masters, 1972;Warnick, 2008). ...
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Research in developmental psychology and neuroscience has demonstrated the critical role of imitation in human learning. Self-report questionnaires collected from 456 undergraduate students in two U.S. institutions and one Chinese institution demonstrated that undergraduate students from both U.S. and Chinese cultures used various imitations in learning, and most undergraduate students perceived those imitations to have positive effects on their learning. Gender, grade-level, disciplinary, and especially, cultural differences of undergraduate students' uses of imitation and their perceptions of the usefulness of those imitations varied in ways that suggest the significance of broad norms using imitation in teaching and learning in higher education. This study contributed to a better understanding of the significance of imitation in undergraduate student learning across cultures , provided implications for teachers and students in using imitation as an effective teaching and learning tool, and offered important avenues for future research on the topic.
... As they weave together their life experiences into a single narrative, people develop the awareness of how meaningful their lives are -having purpose, coherence, and significance to the world (Steger, 2012). As a fundamental representation of self-knowledge, personal narratives provide insight into social cognition, describing how people understand themselves as social agents who both influence and are influenced by the world at large (McConnell et al. 2013) Culture powerfully shapes people's narratives (Benet-Martinez & Oishi, 2006;Markus & Kitayama, 1991), and when people make sense of their lives, they intuitively draw material from existing cultural narratives (Meltzoff, 1988;Swidler, 1986), such as cultural life scripts, to define what is important from their past or what will be important in their future (Berntsen & Rubin, 2004;Bohn & Berntsen, 2011). These "master narratives" are culturally shared stories that are especially ubiquitous, enduring, and reflect the values and history of a given society (e.g., McLean & Syed, 2016). ...
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Meaning in life is tied to the stories people tell about their lives. We explore whether one timeless story—the Hero’s Journey—might make people’s lives feel more meaningful. This enduring story appears across history and cultures, and provides a template for ancient myths (e.g., Beowulf) and blockbuster books and movies (e.g., Harry Potter). Eight studies reveal that the Hero’s Journey predicts and can causally increase people’s experience of meaning in life. We first distill the Hero’s Journey into seven key elements—Protagonist, Shift, Quest, Allies, Challenge, Transformation, Legacy—and then develop a new measure that assesses the perceived presence of the Hero’s Journey narrative in people’s life stories: the Hero’s Journey Scale. Using this scale, we find a positive relationship between the Hero’s Journey and meaning in life with both online participants (Studies 1-2) and older adults in a community sample (Study 3). We then develop a re-storying intervention that leads people to see the events of their life as a Hero’s Journey (Study 4). This intervention causally increases meaning in life (Study 5) by prompting people to reflect on important elements of their lives and connecting them into a coherent and compelling narrative (Study 6). This Hero’s Journey re-storying intervention also increases the extent to which people perceive meaning in an ambiguous grammar task (Study 7) and increases their resilience to life’s challenges (Study 8). These results provide initial evidence that enduring cultural narratives like the Hero’s Journey both reflect meaningful lives and can help to create them.
... These perceptual differences may interfere with infants' ability to learn from videos or to generalize from the screen to the real world. By 6 months of age, infants can reproduce new actions directed at objects shown on a screen, actions that they would otherwise not produce spontaneously, after simply manipulating the objects (Meltzoff, 1988;Barr and Hayne, 1999;Hayne et al., 2003;Barr et al., 2007aBarr et al., , 2010bBarr and Wyss, 2008;Strouse and Troseth, 2008). At this age, a video model yields the same level of imitation as a live model (Barr et al., 2007a). ...
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The past decade has witnessed a rapid increase in the use of screen media in families, and infants are exposed to screens at younger ages than ever before. The objective of this review is twofold: (1) to understand the correlates and demographic factors determining exposure to screens, including interactive screens, when available, and (2) to study the effects of watching screens and using touchscreens on cognitive development, during the first 3 years of life. We argue that the effects of screen viewing depend mostly on contextual aspects of the viewing rather than on the quantity of viewing. That context includes the behavior of adult caregivers during viewing, the watched content in relation to the child’s age, the interactivity of the screen and whether the screen is in the background or not. Depending on the context, screen viewing can have positive, neutral or negative effects on infants’ cognition.
... From the second year, children are able to reproduce by imitation actions that have been previously demonstrated in front of them by an adult or seen in a book (2D) or on a video (3D). Children of 14 months of age correctly imitate an action seen on television after a delay of 24 h (Meltzoff 1988). This transfer by imitation is still observed after a 2-week delay following the initial presentation in 18-month-old children, and a 4-week delay in 24-month-old children (Brito et al. 2012). ...
Chapter
Transfer of learning involves applying what has been learned to new tasks or situations in a flexible manner. Studies have long focused on the transfer capacities of adults, based on paradigms that were initially associationist, then behaviorist and cognitivist. This chapter discusses cognitive flexibility as a third avenue that may help explain the transfer difficulties observed in children. Demonstration of the action by an adult is the condition that leads to the highest transfer performance, due to a significant overlap between the two actions actually performed, one by the experimenter and the other by the child. Cognitive strategies are procedures or sets of procedures implemented to achieve higher level goals. The chapter shows that the transfer of learning may also benefit from a form of attentional flexibility. The links between transfer and flexibility will need to be investigated by incorporating metacognition.
... Contingency, however, is a component of naturalistic exchanges that is frequently overlooked. Yet infants show enhanced responsivity for contingent video stimuli and live camera feeds in comparison to pre-recorded videos (Keemink et al., 2019;Meltzoff, 1988;Nielsen et al., 2008), noting response rates (e.g., smiles and vocalisations) comparable to live interactions (e.g., Field, Goldstein, Vega-Lahr, & Porter, 1986). Dynamic, gaze-contingent interactions, even those simulated using a display screen, are therefore likely to be much closer representations of everyday interactions than static, unresponsive images. ...
Article
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Facial expressions are one way in which infants and adults communicate emotion. Infants scan expressions similarly to adults, yet it remains unclear whether they are receptive to the affective information they convey. The current study investigates six‐, nine‐ and twelve‐month infants’ (N = 146) pupillary responses to the six ‘basic’ emotional expressions (happy, sad, surprise, fear, anger, and disgust). To do this we use dynamic stimuli and gaze‐contingent eye‐tracking to simulate brief interactive exchanges, alongside a static control condition. Infants’ arousal responses were stronger for dynamic compared to static stimuli. And for dynamic stimuli we found that, compared to neutral, infants showed dilatory responses for happy and angry expressions only. Although previous work has shown infants can discriminate perceptually between facial expressions, our data suggest that sensitivity to the affective content of all six basic emotional expressions may not fully emerge until later in ontogeny. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
... They can learn some things from video in the first 2 years of life. For example, 6-to 24-month-olds imitate novel actions with unfamiliar objects after watching an adult model them in a video (Barr, Muentener, & Garcia, 2007;McCall et al., 1977;Meltzoff, 1988;Schmitt & Anderson, 2002;Strouse & Troseth, 2008). In addition, 8-to 24-month-olds learn new words for unfamiliar objects from video, including videos adapted from commercially produced programs such as Teletubbies and Baby Einstein (Krcmar, Grela, & Lin, 2007;Vandewater, 2011;Vandewater, Barr, Park, & Lee, 2010). ...
Article
Before their second birthday, infants can update their knowledge based on what someone tells them, but can they do so based on what a video shows them? The current study explored whether infants can update their representation of an absent object's properties after seeing a video of something happening to it, following seminal work showing that they can update their representation after being told about something happening to it (Ganea et al., 2007). It thus adapted an existing paradigm for testing infants' understanding of references to absent objects (using language) to investigate a different symbolic medium (video). Twenty-two-month-olds first played with a toy and later saw on video that the toy underwent a change in state while they were out of the room. Infants in the current study did not subsequently identify the toy based on this new information, whereas those in previous research did. Infants this age thus appear less likely to update their representation of an absent object's properties using video than using language. This result is consistent with the possibility that infants may understand the representational function of symbolic objects later in development than they understand the representational function of language. It also aligns with evidence of the video deficit in which infants learn less effectively from video than from firsthand experience.
... TPIL allows utilizing many human or robot demonstration videos in TPV from different data sources and very different viewpoints. It is similar to that humans could map TPV observations to their egocentric perspective [2], [3] and learn from them. Recent advances in TPIL [4]- [6] Examples of third-person imitation tasks using Minecraft (a) and Panda robot sim (b). ...
Preprint
Humans learn to imitate by observing others. However, robot imitation learning generally requires expert demonstrations in the first-person view (FPV). Collecting such FPV videos for every robot could be very expensive. Third-person imitation learning (TPIL) is the concept of learning action policies by observing other agents in a third-person view (TPV), similar to what humans do. This ultimately allows utilizing human and robot demonstration videos in TPV from many different data sources, for the policy learning. In this paper, we present a TPIL approach for robot tasks with egomotion. Although many robot tasks with ground/aerial mobility often involve actions with camera egomotion, study on TPIL for such tasks has been limited. Here, FPV and TPV observations are visually very different; FPV shows egomotion while the agent appearance is only observable in TPV. To enable better state learning for TPIL, we propose our disentangled representation learning method. We use a dual auto-encoder structure plus representation permutation loss and time-contrastive loss to ensure the state and viewpoint representations are well disentangled. Our experiments show the effectiveness of our approach.
... This approach offers a substantial increase in naturalism, and differing results have raised questions about the ecological validity of flat-screen displays (Kretch & Adolph, 2015). Yet there is also evidence that infants' reciprocal behaviours are conserved when presented with live video feeds (e.g., Meltzoff, 1988;Nielsen et al., 2008) or non-live contingent videos (Keemink et al., 2019;Vernetti et al., 2018) rather than pre-recorded videos (e.g., R. Barr & Hayne, 1999;Hayne et al., 2003). This instead suggests that it is a lack of contingent reciprocity that reduces realism, not the use of video stimuli per se. ...
Article
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Despite being inherently dynamic phenomena, much of our understanding of how infants attend and scan facial expressions is based on static face stimuli. Here we investigate how six-, nine-, and twelve-month infants allocate their visual attention toward dynamic-interactive videos of the six basic emotional expressions, and compare their responses with static images of the same stimuli. We find infants show clear differences in how they attend and scan dynamic and static expressions, looking longer toward the dynamic-face and lower-face regions. Infants across all age groups show differential interest in expressions, and show precise scanning of regions “diagnostic” for emotion recognition. These data also indicate that infants' attention toward dynamic expressions develops over the first year of life, including relative increases in interest and scanning precision toward some negative facial expressions (e.g., anger, fear, and disgust).
... Despite their differences, we hypothesize that the exocentric view of activity should in fact inform the egocentric view. First, humans are able to watch videos of other people performing activities and map actions into their own (egocentric) perspective; babies in part learn new skills in just this manner [48,55]. Second, exocentric video is not devoid of person-centered cues. ...
Preprint
We introduce an approach for pre-training egocentric video models using large-scale third-person video datasets. Learning from purely egocentric data is limited by low dataset scale and diversity, while using purely exocentric (third-person) data introduces a large domain mismatch. Our idea is to discover latent signals in third-person video that are predictive of key egocentric-specific properties. Incorporating these signals as knowledge distillation losses during pre-training results in models that benefit from both the scale and diversity of third-person video data, as well as representations that capture salient egocentric properties. Our experiments show that our Ego-Exo framework can be seamlessly integrated into standard video models; it outperforms all baselines when fine-tuned for egocentric activity recognition, achieving state-of-the-art results on Charades-Ego and EPIC-Kitchens-100.
... An important dimension of social-communicative functioning where information in AS is lacking is imitation. Imitation is a critical skill for social learning and social engagement [19][20][21][22][23][24] , emerging during the first year of life and serving important social-communicative and learning functions. In both typical and atypical development, imitation is longitudinally associated with cognitive and language skills [25][26][27][28][29] , and concurrently associated with joint attention 30,31 , affect sharing [32][33][34] , empathy 35,36 , and the ability to cooperate 37 . ...
Article
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Individuals with Angelman syndrome (AS) are characterized by severe cognitive impairments alongside an enhanced drive for social engagement. As knowledge on imitation skills in this population is limited, we conducted the first controlled study of imitation in AS. We examined how 23 individuals with AS and 21 typically developing young children with similar mental age imitated novel actions in response to socially or non-socially engaging models, and in response to video-recorded versus live demonstrations of novel actions. Individuals with AS imitated as frequently and as accurately as typical young children in response to live demonstrations; but they imitated less frequently and less accurately in response to video-recorded demonstrations. Further, imitation was modulated by whether the demonstrator was socially engaging or emotionally neutral in the AS group, while this modulation was not present in the comparison group. Individuals with higher mental age imitated more frequently and more accurately across groups. Imitation performance in AS appears to be more modulated by the social context compared to typical infants and young children with similar mental age, possibly reflecting an enhanced drive for social engagement. A socially engaging instructional style might facilitate imitative learning in this population.
... We learn implicitly, through mechanisms like statistical learning (Fiser & Aslin, 2001;Kirkham, Slemmer, & Johnson, 2002;Newport & Aslin, 2004), and explicitly from others through social learning (Csibra & Gergely, 2009Tomasello, Carpenter, Call, Behne, & Moll, 2005). Social learning can occur either through observation (Meltzoff, 1988a(Meltzoff, , 1988bMeltzoff & Moore, 1989), or through pedagogy, or explicit teaching (Csibra & Gergely, 2009;Csibra, 2007;Tomasello et al., 2005). Although teaching usually involves language, knowledge transfer can also occur in its absence. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
In a seminal study, Yoon, Johnson and Csibra [PNAS, 105, 36 (2008)] showed that nine-month-old infants retained qualitatively different information about novel objects in communicative and non-communicative contexts. In a communicative context, the infants encoded the identity of novel objects at the expense of encoding their location, which was preferentially retained in non-communicative contexts. This result has not yet been replicated. Here we attempted two replications, while also including a measure of eye-tracking to obtain more detail of infants’ attention allocation during stimulus presentation. Experiment 1 was designed following the methods described in the original paper. After discussion with one of the original authors, some key changes were made to the methodology in Experiment 2. Neither experiment replicated the results of the original study, with Bayes Factor Analysis suggesting moderate support for the null hypothesis. Both experiments found differential attention allocation in communicative and non-communicative contexts, with more looking to the face in communicative than non-communicative contexts, and more looking to the hand in non-communicative than communicative contexts. High and low level accounts of these attentional differences are discussed.
... Action familiarity may bias cultural transmission, but it is not clear how. Meltzoff (1988aMeltzoff ( , 1988b found that 14-month-olds tended to reproduce novel actions, but in Reader, Bruce and Rebers's studies (2007), participants tended to follow a familiar route over a novel one, even if it was costlier. ...
Preprint
Human culture is the result of a unique cumulative evolutionary process. The social transmission mechanisms underlying this process are still not fully understood. In particular, the role of language, another unique human behaviour, in social transmission is under-explored. In this first direct, systematic comparison of demonstration vs language-based social learning, we measured the transmission fidelity and cumulative improvement of an action sequence whose objective was to extract a reward from a box. Participants were organised in transmission chains, and each of them either watched a model demonstrate an action sequence or listened to verbal instructions to produce the action sequence. In order to explore imitation and overimitation, the sequences included actions that were causally relevant or irrelevant, respectively, to extracting the reward. We explored these effects in transmission adults and in 6 to 8-year-old children. Overall, we found more copying under demonstration than verbal instruction, and of causally-relevant than irrelevant actions. However, children (but not adults) copied more causally-irrelevant actions under verbal instruction, but more causally-relevant actions under demonstration. Cumulative cultural evolution produces sophisticated, complex behaviour whose function may not be obvious. By promoting the retention of behaviour even when its function is not understood, specifically in children, language may play a supportive role in cumulative cultural evolution.
... Moreover, young children have been observed to imitate video-transmitted actions. Provided that the actions are adapted to the age of the children, 14-and 15month-old children imitate new actions on objects demonstrated in pre-recorded video (Meltzoff, 1988; Barr and Hayne, 1999). Responsiveness to video in terms of imitation of actions does, however, not necessarily require detection of sign relation, only mapping of behavior (Hribar et al., 2014;Troseth et al., 2019). 1 It will be noted that this sign definition, originally formulated in Sonesson (1989), does not require intention, in the sense of purpose, but certainly in the phenomenological sense of consciousness, since only in the presence of the latter will there be any differentiation as well as an asymmetry between expression and content. ...
Article
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The present study looked at the extent to which 2-year-old children benefited from information conveyed by viewing a hiding event through an opening in a cardboard screen, seeing it as live video, as pre-recorded video, or by way of a mirror. Being encouraged to find the hidden object by selecting one out of two cups, the children successfully picked the baited cup significantly more often when they had viewed the hiding through the opening, or in live video, than when they viewed it in pre-recorded video, or by way of a mirror. All conditions rely on the perception of similarity. The study suggests, however, that contiguity – i.e., the perception of temporal and physical closeness between events – rather than similarity is the principal factor accounting for the results.
... Infants can learn how to use novel objects by watching and copying what others do with them from the middle of their first year (Barr, Dowden, & Hayne, 1996;Meltzoff, 1988). By 2 years of age, the proclivity to learn by observing others begins to intensify to the extent that children will copy obviously causally irrelevant actions, in what has come to be known as overimitation (for a recent thorough literature review, see Hoehl et al., 2019). ...
Article
Past research has indicated that young children have a propensity to adopt the causally unnecessary actions of an adult, a phenomenon known as overimitation. Among competing perspectives, social accounts suggest that overimitation satisfies social motivations, be they affiliative or normative, whereas the "copy-all/refine-later" account proposes that overimitation serves a functional purpose by giving children the greatest opportunity to acquire knowledge with little error. Until recently, these two accounts have been difficult to extricate experimentally, but the development of humanoid robots provides a novel test. Here we document that children overimitate robots, but to a lesser degree than humans and regardless of whether the redundant actions are seen to be ritualistic or functional. These results are best explained with a combined account of overimitation, whereby children approach a learning task with a copy-all/refine-later motivation, but the fidelity of the reproduction of novel behaviors is modulated by the social availability of the demonstrator.
... Children show a novelty preference almost immediately and are able to respond to traditional behavioral conditioning paradigms (Hulsebus 1974;Thompson et al. 1991). Infants as young as 6 months can reliably show social learning through deferred imitation (Barr et al. 1996;Meltzoff 1988). Additionally, experiential learning generally is essential for normative development both pre-and postnatally (Bale et al. 2010;Mclaughlin et al. 2014;Perry 2002;Roth and Sweatt 2011a, b;Swain et al. 2007;Talge et al. 2007). ...
Chapter
Our social environment, from the microscopic to the macro-social, affects us for the entirety of our lives. One integral line of research to examine how interpersonal and societal environments can get “under the skin” is through the lens of epigenetics. Epigenetic mechanisms are adaptations made to our genome in response to our environment which include tags placed on and removed from the DNA itself to how our DNA is packaged, affecting how our genes are read, transcribed, and interact. These tags are affected by social environments and can persist over time; this may aid us in responding to experiences and exposures, both the enriched and the disadvantageous. From memory formation to immune function, the experience-dependent plasticity of epigenetic modifications to micro- and macro-social environments may contribute to the process of learning from comfort, pain, and stress to better survive in whatever circumstances life has in store.
... Bildhafte Informationsaufnahme und -verarbeitungsprozesse zweidimensionaler Bilder werden ab dem 14. Lebensmonat angenommen, da ab diesem Alter Fernsehbilder von Kindern erkannt, verarbeitet und imitiert werden können (Meltzoff, 1988, zititert nach Webley et al., 2001. Die Imagery-Forschung beschäftigt sich mit bildhafter Informationsverarbeitung in Form von mentalen Bildern. ...
... We learn implicitly, through mechanisms like statistical learning (Fiser & Aslin, 2001;Kirkham, Slemmer, & Johnson, 2002;Newport & Aslin, 2004), and explicitly from others through social learning (Csibra & Gergely, 2009Tomasello, Carpenter, Call, Behne, & Moll, 2005). Social learning can occur either through observation (Meltzoff, 1988a(Meltzoff, , 1988bMeltzoff & Moore, 1989), or through pedagogy, or explicit teaching (Csibra & Gergely, 2009;Csibra, 2007;Tomasello et al., 2005). Although teaching usually involves language, knowledge transfer can also occur in its absence. ...
Article
Full-text available
In a seminal study, Yoon, Johnson and Csibra [PNAS, 105, 36 (2008)] showed that nine-month-old infants retained qualitatively different information about novel objects in communicative and non-communicative contexts. In a communicative context, the infants encoded the identity of novel objects at the expense of encoding their location, which was preferentially retained in non-communicative contexts. This result had not yet been replicated. Here we attempted two replications, while also including a measure of eye-tracking to obtain more detail of infants' attention allocation during stimulus presentation. Experiment 1 was designed following the methods described in the original paper. After discussion with one of the original authors, some key changes were made to the methodology in Experiment 2. Neither experiment replicated the results of the original study, with Bayes Factor Analysis suggesting moderate support for the null hypothesis. Both experiments found differential attention allocation in communicative and non-communicative contexts, with more looking to the face in communicative than non-communicative contexts, and more looking to the hand in non-communicative than communicative contexts. High and low level accounts of these attentional differences are discussed.
... 92 Still, parents believe that educational media is important to children's intellectual development, 93 and some studies have shown that certain television programs can encourage particular forms of play 94 and improve prelinguistic representational abilities. 95 Researchers consequently explain that if caregivers introduce children to television or video programs as a tool to encourage play, choice of appropriate program type according to content and age is essential. 92,96,97 Therefore, a safe digital context for infants and toddlers depends on caregiver presence and interactions with the child to encourage play-based learning. ...
Article
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Early childhood is an important developmental period, which lays the foundation for future learning, behaviour, physical and mental health and gene expression. The most vulnerable children in society are often referred to and receive services from the child welfare system because of a concern of abuse and neglect and/or a poor developmental trajectory. This paper presents an organizing framework for how the child welfare system, in concert with allied partners, can support interventions for young children and families by acknowledging its crucial role in improving their development and well-being. The framework is informed by research amassed from numerous disciplines, including child welfare, development, neuroscience, neurobiology and epigenetics. Although the notions of protection and well-being are central considerations in child welfare legislation in Ontario, Canada, the operationalization of wellbeing has proven challenging in child welfare practice, policy and research. The framework proposes ten key indicators and priorities for identifying and promoting optimal child development. Findings from the 2013 cycle of the Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (OIS-2013), the only provincial source of aggregated child welfare investigation data, are presented to articulate the divide between the environmental context of a population of at-risk children and the conditions that both protect children and increase the likelihood that they will thrive in adulthood. This paper argues there are different points of entry and intervention across sectors and provides a foundation for further discussion on how to promote well-being for society's most vulnerable children.
... Prior to the experimenter's demonstration of the sequence, the participant is given the set of props and asked to ''do something with these''. Any spontaneous production of the target actions and their order serves as a baseline measure, and differences between this baseline and performance after exposure to the sequences modelled by the experimenter are taken as evidence of memory for the event (Bauer, 1997;Meltzoff, 1988). ...
Article
Semantic dementia (SD) is associated with a progressive, relatively selective, degeneration of semantic memory (both verbal and nonverbal facts and knowledge). Episodic memory, however, is thought to be relatively preserved. This study aimed to further assess the nonverbal, incidental, episodic memory profile associated with SD using deferred imitation, which measures recall by the nonverbal imitation of novel action sequences after a 24-h delay. The performance of six individuals with SD was compared to that of 10 healthy age-and education-matched controls. After a baseline phase, where sets of objects were presented for manipulation to measure the spontaneous production of relevant action sequences, participants were shown eight novel three-step action sequences with the sets of objects. The component actions of the sequences were causally related in four of the eight series and arbitrarily related in the remaining four, to investigate the influence of sequence structure on memory performance. All participants produced more target actions and pairs in the arbitrary sequences 24-h after demonstration compared to baseline, indicating memory for the sequences, but only the control group showed significant memory for the order of the causal sequences (pairs). Furthermore, and perhaps more strikingly, only the control participants showed a recall advantage for the causal relative to the arbitrary sequences, indicating that they, but not the patients, could take advantage of the semantic nature of these sequences. Together these findings suggest that individuals with SD show some nonverbal episodic memory, even after a 24-h delay, and that new anterograde memory can to some extent be established without significant support from semantic memory.
... However, we think this explanation is unlikely since the video-deficit effect (Anderson & Pempek, 2005) has been reported mainly for studies measuring deferred imitation (e.g., Barr & Hayne, 1999;Strouse & Troseth, 2008) or immediate imitation with older children (e.g., Nielsen, Simcock, & Jenkins, 2008, but see Klein, Hauf, & Aschersleben, 2006, for a small video deficit in 12-month-olds' imitation of action sequences). Furthermore, previous studies found that infants at similar ages as in the current study were able to imitate (e.g., Meltzoff, 1988b; or adapt an emotional evaluation (Mumme & Fernald, 2003) from televised models, with one study showing even rational head-touch imitation from a televised model in 12-month-olds (Zmyj, Daum, & Aschersleben, 2009). Still, it seems likely that the head-touch paradigm is not very robust when presented on video. ...
Article
When observing a novel action, infants pay attention to the model's constraints when deciding whether to imitate this action or not. Gergely et al. (2002) found that more 14-month-olds copied a model's use of her head to operate a lamp when she used her head while her hands were free than when she had to use this means because it was the only means available to her (i.e., her hands were occupied). The perceptional distraction account (Beisert et al., 2012) claims that differences between conditions in terms of the amount of attention infants paid to the modeled action caused the differences in infants' performance between conditions. In order to investigate this assumption we presented 14-month-olds (N=34) with an eye-tracking paradigm and analyzed their looking behavior when observing the head-touch demonstration in the two original conditions. Subsequently, they had the chance to operate the apparatus themselves, and we measured their imitative responses. In order to explore the perceptional processes taking place in this paradigm in adulthood, we also presented adults (N=31) with the same task. Apart from the fact that we did not replicate the findings in imitation with our participants, the eye-tracking results do not support the perceptional distraction account: infants did not statistically differ - not even tendentially - in their amount of looking at the modeled action in both conditions. Adults also did not statistically differ in their looking at the relevant action components. However, both groups predominantly observed the relevant head action. Consequently, infants and adults do not seem to attend differently to constrained and unconstrained modelled actions.
... We thus use 3 years as a lower age limit for the purposes of this review, excluding studies that only focus on toddlers or younger infants. This is not to say that fictional media does not affect children younger than 3. Indeed, even infants and toddlers can replicate actions that they have seen in videos (e.g., Barr & Hayne, 1999;Hayne, Herbert, & Simcock, 2003;Meltzoff, 1988;Simcock, Garrity, & Barr, 2011). And a large body of work shows that infants and toddlers can learn words from nonnarrative videos (Krcmar, 2014;Krcmar, Grela, & Lin, 2007;Roseberry, Hirsh-Pasek, Parish-Morris, & Golinkoff, 2009;Vandewater, Barr, Park, & Lee, 2010, but see DeLoache et al., 2010Robb, Richert, & Wartella, 2009) or simple picture books (Chiong & DeLoache, 2012;Ganea, Pickard, & DeLoache, 2008;Khu, Graham, & Ganea, 2014;Tare, Chiong, Ganea, & DeLoache, 2010;see Linebarger & Vaala, 2010 for a review). ...
... Nevertheless, we know from previous studies that children's attitudes, behaviours and selfesteem are affected and influenced by the TV and film they watch (Livingston and Bovill, 2001;Meltzoff, 1988; Van der burg, 1985) -albeit not uniformly nor without some semblance of agency (Tulloch and Lupton, 1997). TV, film and animation shape how children begin to make sense of and demystify the world around them. ...
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This paper introduces the concept of ‘organizational readiness’: socio-cultural expectations about working selves that prepare young people (albeit indirectly and in complex and multi-faceted ways) for their future life in organizations. This concept emerges from an analysis of Disney animations and how they constitute expectations about working life that may influence children through their representations of work and gendered workplace roles. The paper’s exploration of Disney’s earlier animations suggests they circulated norms of gender that girls should be weak and avoid work. In contrast, its contemporary productions circulate gender norms that suggest girls should be strong and engage in paid work. In this reading, the continued circulation of earlier alongside contemporary animations may convey to young viewers a paradox: girls must and must not work; they must be both weak and strong. We thus offer new insights into the puzzle of the continued relegation of women to the side-lines in organizations; although, more optimistically, we also point to ways in which future generations of employees may forge ways of constituting forms of gendered selves as yet hardly imaginable.
Chapter
Mechanisms of imitation and social matching play a fundamental role in development, communication, interaction, learning and culture. Their investigation in different agents (animals, humans and robots) has significantly influenced our understanding of the nature and origins of social intelligence. Whilst such issues have traditionally been studied in areas such as psychology, biology and ethnology, it has become increasingly recognised that a 'constructive approach' towards imitation and social learning via the synthesis of artificial agents can provide important insights into mechanisms and create artefacts that can be instructed and taught by imitation, demonstration, and social interaction rather than by explicit programming. This book studies increasingly sophisticated models and mechanisms of social matching behaviour and marks an important step towards the development of an interdisciplinary research field, consolidating and providing a valuable reference for the increasing number of researchers in the field of imitation and social learning in robots, humans and animals.
Chapter
Mechanisms of imitation and social matching play a fundamental role in development, communication, interaction, learning and culture. Their investigation in different agents (animals, humans and robots) has significantly influenced our understanding of the nature and origins of social intelligence. Whilst such issues have traditionally been studied in areas such as psychology, biology and ethnology, it has become increasingly recognised that a 'constructive approach' towards imitation and social learning via the synthesis of artificial agents can provide important insights into mechanisms and create artefacts that can be instructed and taught by imitation, demonstration, and social interaction rather than by explicit programming. This book studies increasingly sophisticated models and mechanisms of social matching behaviour and marks an important step towards the development of an interdisciplinary research field, consolidating and providing a valuable reference for the increasing number of researchers in the field of imitation and social learning in robots, humans and animals.
Chapter
In diesem Kapitel behandeln wir die Entwicklung in drei eng miteinander verwandten Bereichen: der Wahrnehmung, dem Handeln und dem Lernen. Unsere Darstellung konzentriert sich vorrangig auf die frühe Kindheit, da sich während der ersten beiden Lebensjahre eines Kindes in allen drei Bereichen außerordentlich schnelle Entwicklungen vollziehen. Ein weiterer Grund hat damit zu tun, dass die Entwicklung in den genannten Bereichen während dieser Lebensphase besonders eng miteinander verwoben ist: Beginnt ein Kind beispielsweise zu krabbeln und dann zu laufen, wird zunehmend mehr von der Welt für es zugänglich so dass es immer mehr entdecken und lernen kann.
Article
Infants’ exposure to images presented on screens is increasing with the accelerating use of technology in society and at home. Touchscreen technology provides numerous interactive screen opportunities geared toward infants and toddlers. Touchscreens are unique in that they possess the 2D qualities of a picture, but a set of manipulation possibilities similar to, but distinct from, a 3D object. Research comparing infants’ manual exploration of photographs, objects, and screen images has demonstrated that although 7–10-month-old infants direct different actions towards 3D objects, their exploration of screen images does not differ significantly from their exploration of 2D photographs (Ziemer & Snyder, 2016). The current investigation compares the ways in which 7–10-month-old infants and 15–18-month-old infants manually explore screen images, photographs, and objects. Infants in the older age group were shown examples of objects, photographs, and screen images presented within a well in a table with a Plexiglas® cover to create identical tactile feedback. Coders noted the presence or absence of appropriate actions displayed toward the various surfaces. Results were compared to data collected earlier (Ziemer & Snyder, 2016) to demonstrate the evolution of touchscreen competence across the first years of infant development. By 15–18 months, infants demonstrate an emerging repertoire of touchscreen-appropriate behaviors directed towards touchscreens that is not demonstrated by 7–10-month-old infants. Differences in haptic exploration suggest the beginnings of a touchscreen competence that enables infants to understand and interact with touchscreens in a new way.
Chapter
Bisher haben wir Lernen stets unter der Perspektive betrachtet, dass ein Organismus in einer Lernphase etwas erfährt und dann in einer Abrufphase geprüft wird, ob die Erfahrungen aus der ersten Phase das Verhalten verändern. Vieles was wir im Leben lernen, lernen wir aber gar nicht, weil wir selbst die Erfahrungen machen, sondern weil wir beobachten, was anderen geschieht. Der jüngere Bruder lernt beispielsweise, den Vater lieber nicht beim Mittagsschlaf zu stören, weil er erlebt hat, was seiner älteren Schwester passierte, als sie dies tat. Ganz im Sinne des Vermeidungslernens lässt er seinen Vater lieber in Ruhe. Vieles, was wir lernen, lernen wir in einem sozialen Kontext, in der Interaktion mit anderen Menschen. Sie stehen uns quasi als Modelle zur Verfügung, wir ahmen sie nach oder imitieren sie, häufig ganz automatisch.
Article
Humans are fundamentally defined by our socially transmitted, often long-lived, sophisticated cultural traits. The nature of cultural transmission is the subject of ongoing debate: while some emphasize that it is a biased, transformational process, others point out that high-fidelity transmission is required to explain the quintessentially cumulative nature of human culture. This paper integrates both views into a model that has two main components: First, actions – observable motor-behavioural patterns – are inherited with high fidelity, or replicated, when they are copied, largely independently of their normal, effective or conventional function, by naive learners. Replicative action copying is the unbiased transmission process that ensures the continuity of cultural traditions. Second, mental culture – knowledge, skills, attitudes and values – is not inherited directly or faithfully, but instead emerges, or develops, during usage, when individuals learn the associations between actions and their contexts and outcomes. Mental cultural traits remain stable over generations to the extent that they are informed by similar (replicated) motor patterns unfolding in similar environments. The arguments in support of this model rest on clear distinctions between inheritance and usage; between public-behavioural and private-mental culture; and between selection for fidelity and selection for function.
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En este texto se reproduce la introducción y las conclusiones de la investigación “Los niños menores de tres años y la Televisión: Perspectivas de investigación y debate (1999-2010)” publicada por el Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia. En la revisión bibliográfica realizada, se establece que la presencia de la televisión y de otros medios electrónicos es central en la vida cotidiana de los niños, y que el número de horas que pasan frente a la pantalla tiende a incrementarse con el tiempo, con la edad y si tienen televisor en su cuarto. Se encuentra también que aunque buena parte de los videos y programas de televisión dirigidos a niños menores de tres años señalan que persiguen fines educativos, no se ha logrado establecer con claridad que este tipo de productos pueda cumplir con estos propósitos. En relación con este grupo poblacional le interesa particularmente al Ministerio de Cultura indagaciones que apunten a preguntas tales como: ¿Qué tipo de televisión es pertinente para la infancia?, ¿A qué edades? Además de los contenidos y relatos propios de ésta: ¿Qué otras formas de relación pueden establecer los niños con la mediación de la pantalla?, ¿Qué tan útil es, y especialmente qué tipo de televisión puede ayudar a hacer más digna la vida de la infancia colombiana? pretende además motivar a los investigadores y realizadores colombianos a emprender búsquedas similares, y en especial a usar las investigaciones como criterios al momento de la toma de decisiones en el diseño, producción y emisión de contenidos audiovisuales para niños.
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Many rituals are socially stipulated such that engaging in a group's rituals can fundamentally signal membership in that group. Here, we asked whether infants infer information about people's social affiliation based on whether those people perform the same ritualistic action versus different actions. We presented 16-month-old infants with two people who used the same object to achieve the same goal: turning on a light. In a first study, the actions that the actors used to turn on the light had key properties of ritual: they were not causally necessary to reach the overall goal, and there were no features of the situation that required doing the particular actions. We varied whether the two actors performed the same action or performed different actions to turn on the light. Infants expected people who used the same ritualistic action to be more likely to affiliate than people who used different actions. A second study indicated that these results were not due to perceptual similarity: when the differences in the actors' actions were not marked by properties of ritual, but were instead due to situational constraints, infants expected the actors to affiliate. Thus, infants understand the social significance of people engaging in common, potentially ritualistic actions, and expect these actions to provide information about third-party social relationships.
Book
Organizational or corporate ‘culture’ is the most overused and least understood word in business, if not society. While the topic has been an object of keen academic interest for nearly half a century, theorists and practitioners still struggle with the most basic questions: What is organizational culture? Can it be measured? Is it a dependent or independent variable? Is it causal in organizational performance, and, if so, how? Paradoxically, managers and practitioners ascribe cultural explanations for much of what constitutes organizational behavior in organizations, and, moreover, believe culture can be engineered to their own designs for positive business outcomes. What explains this divide between research and practice? While much academic research on culture is challenged by ontological, epistemic and ethical difficulties, there is little empirical evidence to show culture can be deliberately shaped beyond espoused values. The gap between research and practice can be explained by one simple reason: the science and practice of culture has yet to catch up to managerial intuition.Managers are correct in suspecting culture is a powerful normative force, but, until now, current theory and research is not able to adequately account for cultural behavior in organizations.Rethinking Culture describes and presents evidence for a new framework of organizational culture based on the cognitive science of the so-called cultural mind. It will be of relevance to academics and researchers with an interest in business and management, organizational culture, and organizational change, as well as cognitive and cultural anthropologists and sociologists interested in applications of theory in organizational and institutional settings.
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Infantile amnesia, the inability of adults to recollect early episodic memories, is associated with the rapid forgetting that occurs in childhood. It has been suggested that infantile amnesia is due to the underdevelopment of the infant brain, which would preclude memory consolidation, or to deficits in memory retrieval. Although early memories are inaccessible to adults, early-life events, such as neglect or aversive experiences, can greatly impact adult behavior and may predispose individuals to various psychopathologies. It remains unclear how a brain that rapidly forgets, or is not yet able to form long-term memories, can exert such a long-lasting and important influence. Here, with a particular focus on the hippocampal memory system, we review the literature and discuss new evidence obtained in rats that illuminates the paradox of infantile amnesia. We propose that infantile amnesia reflects a developmental critical period during which the learning system is learning how to learn and remember.
Article
Researchers tested the impact of contextual mismatch, proactive interference, and working memory (WM) on toddlers’ transfer across contexts. Forty-two toddlers (27–34 months) completed four object-retrieval trials, requiring memory updating on Trials 2–4. Participants watched hiding events on a tablet computer. Search performance was tested using another tablet (match) or a felt board (mismatch). WM was assessed. On earlier search trials, WM predicted transfer in both conditions, and toddlers in the match condition outperformed those in the mismatch condition; however, the benefit of contextual match and WM decreased over trials. Contextual match apparently increased proactive interference on later trials. Findings are interpreted within existing accounts of the transfer deficit, and a combined account is proposed.
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The development of long-term event memory in preverbal infants remains elusive. To address this issue, we applied an eye-tracking method that successfully revealed in great apes that they have long-term memory of single events. Six-, 12-, 18- and 24-month-old infants watched a video story in which an aggressive ape-looking character came out from one of two identical doors. While viewing the same video again 24 hours later, 18- and 24-month-old infants anticipatorily looked at the door where the character would show up before it actually came out, but 6- and 12-month-old infants did not. Next, 12-, 18- and 24-month-old infants watched a different video story, in which a human grabbed one of two objects to hit back at the character. In their second viewing after a 24-hour delay, 18- and 24-month-old infants increased viewing time on the objects before the character grabbed one. In this viewing, 24-month-old infants preferentially looked at the object that the human had used, but 18-month-old infants did not show such preference. Our results show that infants at 18 months of age have developed long-term event memory, an ability to encode and retrieve a one-time event and this ability is elaborated thereafter.
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In der ungeheuer beeindruckenden Publikationsliste von Ursula Lehr findet man zwischen ihren Schwerpunktthemen zum mittleren und hohen Erwachsenenalter immer wieder auch Publikationen zur frühen Kindheit und zwar zum Spiel (32, 33), zur Rolle der Mutter (34, 35) bzw. zur Rolle beider Eltern (37–40, 42) für die Persönlichkeitsentwicklung und Sozialisation des kleinen Kindes, zur Frage der Auswirkung mütterlicher Berufstätigkeit (36), zum Tagesmütterproblem (35) und zur Wirkung des Wandels der Familie auf die Entwicklung der Kinder (43). In weiteren mindestens 7 Artikeln befaßte sie sich mit der Frage der Vereinbarkeit von Mutterschaft und Berufstätigkeit und in mindestens fünf Beiträgen allgemeiner über die Geschlechtsrollenentwicklung im gesellschaftlichen Wandel. Sie dokumentiert durch dieses breite Feld ihr Interesse an grundlegenden und an angewandten entwicklungspsychologischen Fragestellungen, und sie vermittelt in ihren Publikationen ihre Grundüberzeugung, daß Entwicklung über den ganzen Lebenslauf stattfindet und dabei vom historischen Wandel der gesellschaftlichen Bedingungen beeinflußt wird. Dies entspricht weitgehend dem „person-process-context“-Modell nach Bronfenbrenner (10, 11), denn sie betrachtet den Sozialisationsprozeß zwischen Eltern und ihren kleinen Kindern sowohl aus der Perspektive der Eltern, derc mit dem Alter wandelnden Entwicklungsbedürfnisse.
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The national pastime of American children is watching television. They spend perhaps 20% of their waking hours in front of TV sets, cumulatively more time than they spend in school (Lyle & Hoffman, 1972a, b). Although there has been some research interest in the social and cognitive impact of television (cf. Liebert, Neale, & Davidson, 1973; Stein & Friedrich, 1975), there have been few studies on the nature and development of TV viewing itself. There has been little information on how children watch, why they watch, or what they watch.
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The TV-viewing behavior of 99 families with young children was videotaped by automated time-lapse recording equipment placed in homes for 10-day periods. The 99 families comprised 460 individuals from infants to 62 years of age. Time-sample analyses of 4,672 hours of recordings indicated that the TV-viewing room contained no viewers 14.7% of the time that the TV was on. There were no age trends in time spent with television. Percent visual attention to television increased greatly across the preschool years, leveled off at about 70% during the school-age years, and declined in adulthood. Men looked at the TV more than women. There were no significant correlations between time spent with TV and percent of visual attention to TV. The increase in visual attention to television during the preschool years is consistent with the theory that TV program comprehensibility is a major determination of attention in young children.
Article
The results of these studies indicated that children younger than 1 year possess the cognitive capability of translating a perception of a novel action into their own behavior. However, the likelihood of imitation varied as a function of the nature of the target behavior. For example, actions requiring direct social commerce with the examiner were imitated less frequently than simple motor behaviors with objects, and reproducing gestures was more common than vocalizations. Moreover, imitation seemed to depend upon the child's level of mental development-the imitation of coordinated sequences, which requires the child to associate two external events, lagged behind the imitation of single-unit behaviors. There was no evidence for individual traits of general imitativeness, at least not until symbolic relations were involved. Live models were imitated more than TV models but only prior to age 3. While children under 2 years of age were not facile at imitating sequences of behaviors or delaying performance a short time after modeling, older toddlers readily and accurately imitated televised sequences even after a 24-hour delay. Whereas socially extroverted and fearless children imitated live models more than shy children, TV imitation was not related to temperament, home TV viewing habits, or parental education. Finally, the experience of being imitated may facilitate the social cognition of influencing another person.
Article
Human beings are imitative generalists. We can immediately imitate a wide range of behaviors with great facility, whether they be vocal maneuvers, body postures, or actions on objects. The ontogeny of this skill has been an enduring question in developmental psychology. Classical theory holds that the ability to imitate facial gestures is a milestone that is passed at about one year. Before this time infants are thought to lack the perceptual-cognitive sophistication necessary to match a gesture they can see with one they cannot see themselves perform. A second developmental milestone is the capacity for deferred imitation, i.e. imitation of an absent model. This is said to emerge at about 18 months, in close synchrony with other higher-order activities such as object permanence and tool use, as part of a general cognitive shift from a purely sensory-motor level of functioning to one that allows language. Research suggests that the imitative capacity of young infants has been underestimated. Human infants are capable of imitating facial gestures at birth, with infants less than one day old manifesting this skill. Moreover recent experiments have established deferred imitation well before the predicted age of 18 months. Studies discussed here show that 9-month-olds can duplicate acts after a delay of 24 hours, and that 14-month-olds can retain and duplicate as many as five actions over a 1-week delay. These new findings re-raise questions about the relation between nonverbal cognitive development and language development: What aspects, if any, of these two domains are linked? A hypothesis is delineated that predicts certain very specific relations between particular cognitive and semantic achievements during the one-word stage, and data are reported supporting this hypothesis. Specifically, relations are reported between: (a) the development of object permanence and the use of words encoding disappearance, (b) means-ends understanding (as manifest in tool use) and words encoding success and failure, and (c) categorization behavior and the onset of the naming explosion. This research on human ontogeny suggests close and highly specific links between aspects of early language and thought.
Article
Deferred imitation after a 1-week delay was examined in 14-month-old infants. Six actions, each using a different object, were demonstrated to each infant. One of the six actions was a novel behavior that had a zero probability of occurrence in spontaneous play. In the imitation condition, infants observed the demonstration but were not allowed to touch the objects, thus preventing any immediate imitation. After the 1-week delay, infants returned to the laboratory and their imitation of the adult's previous actions was scored. Infants in the imitation condition produced significantly more of the target actions than infants in control groups who were not exposed to the modeling; there was also strong evidence for the imitation of the novel act. From a cognitive perspective deferred imitation provides a means of assessing recall memory and representation in children. From a social-developmental viewpoint the findings illustrate that the behavioral repertoire of infants and their knowledge about objects can expand as a result of seeing the actions of others. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Sensitivity to static pictorial information for depth develops between 22 and 26 weeks of age. When conflicting binocular and surface-texture information was minimized, 26- to 30-week-old infants directed their reaching to the apparently closer side of a photograph of a window rotated in depth. Younger infants, from 20 to 22 weeks of age, did not direct their reaching to the pictorially nearer side of the display but did reach with a high degree of directionality when presented with a real window rotated in depth.
Article
5-month-old infants who had been habituated to a live face showed no change in fixation time when presented with an immediately following photographic slide of that same face, while they showed an increase in fixation time (dishabituation) to a photographic slide of a novel face of different sex, hair color, and hair style. The similarity in responses to the live person and his photograph indictaes that some identification of people in photographs is possible even in the absence of extended prior developmental experience with pictures. A second experiment found that 5-month-old Ss exhibited the same amount of looking when a live face was followed either by its own photograph or by a photograph of a novel person of like sex, hair color, and hair style. Apparently, these Ss used only rather gross physiognomic features to perceive a similarity between a live person and that person's photograph.
Article
The ability of 9-month-old infants to imitate simple actions with novel objects was investigated. Both immediate and deferred imitation were tested, the latter by interposing a 24-hour delay between the stimulus-presentation and response periods. The results provide evidence for both immediate and deferred imitation; moreover, imitative responding was not significantly dampened by the 24-hour delay. The findings demonstrate that there exists some underlying capacity for deferring imitation of certain acts well under 1 year of age, and thus that this ability does not develop in a stagelike step function at about 18-24 months as commonly predicted. These findings also show that imitation in early infancy can span wide enough delays to be of potential service in social development; actions on novel objects that are observed one day can be stored by the child and repeated the next day. The study of deferred imitation provides a largely untapped method for investigating the nature and development of recall memory in the preverbal child.
Article
This study provides longitudinal observations of young children's behaviours while viewing television in their own homes, over a time when the children were actively involved in the process of language acquisition. Sixteen children were observed for a period ranging from 0; 6 to 0;8. At the beginning, their ages ranged from 0; 6.15 to 5.15; at the end, from 1; 2.15 to 3;0. The observations yielded documentation of an overwhelming and consistent occurrence of language-related behaviours among children and parents in the viewing situation. The categories of child and adult talk are reported, with description and examples of each category. The categories are compared with those reported for parent–child interactions outside the viewing experience, – in particular joint book-reading. A model of television as a talking picture book is proposed. It is argued that television has the potential to serve as a facilitator of children's language acquisition.
Article
Natural responses, reaching and grasping, are used in an attempt to show that young infants perceive the distal properties of objects rather than their proximal correlates. The attempt seems to be successful for the properties, solidity, size, and distance. The developmental bases of these capacities are discussed.
Article
Ninety-three preschool children, enrolled in a 9-week nursery school session, were shown one of three types of television programs each day during the middle 4 weeks of the session. The programs were aggressive cartoons ("Batman" and "Superman"), prosocial programs ("Misterogers Neighborhood"), and neutral films. Observations of aggressive and prosocial interpersonal behavior, and self-regulation in free play were carried out during the entire nursery school session. The effects of the programs were assessed by the changes that occurred from the baseline period to the periods during and after exposure to the programs. Children who saw the aggressive programs showed a decline in (1) tolerance of delay, and (2) rule obedience. The effects on interpersonal aggression were limited to the half of the sample that was initially above the group median. For those children, the group who saw the aggressive programs showed more interpersonal aggression than those who saw the neutral programs. There were no effects of television programs on the aggressive behavior of children who were initially below the median in aggression. Children exposed to the prosocial programs showed higher levels of task persistence and somewhat higher levels of rule obedience and delay tolerance than those in the neutral condition. These differences were especially pronounced for children with above-average intelligence. There was increased prosocial interpersonal behavior following exposure to the prosocial program for children from lower-SES-status families but not for higher-SES subjects. Neither attention to the programs nor knowledge about their content was consistently related to behavior change. Home viewing patterns did not predict baseline behavior.
Article
Based on Gibson's hypothesis that accretion and deletion of texture in the optic array provides unambiguous information for the spatial layout of surfaces, we sought evidence of early responsiveness to this information with infant subjects. 5- and 7-month-olds viewed computer-generated random-dot displays in which accretion and deletion of texture provided the only information for contours, specifying either a foreground surface moving in front of and occluding a moving background surface or 2 partially overlapping surfaces. The infants in both age groups showed significant preferences to reach for the apparently nearer regions in the displays. Since previous research has shown that infants reach more frequently for the nearer of 2 surfaces, these results indicate that 5- and 7-month-olds are sensitive to accretion and deletion of texture as information for the spatial layout of surfaces.
Article
Four experiments demonstrate that infants of 5 and 7 months can detect information that is invariant across the acoustic and optic presentations of a single affective expression. Infants were presented simultaneously with two filmed facial expressions accompanied by a single vocal expression characteristic of one of the facial expressions. The infants increased their looking time to a facial expression when it was sound-specified, as compared to when that filmed expression was projected silently. Even when synchrony relations were disrupted, infants looked proportionately longer to the film that was sound-specified, indicating that some factor other than temporal synchrony guided the infants' looking behavior. When infants viewed the filmed facial expressions either in a normal orientation or upside-down, those infants viewing the facial expressions in the normal orientation looked appropriately, while those viewing the inverted films did not. These findings support the view that infants are sensitive to amodal, potentially meaningful invariant relations in expressive behaviors. These results are discussed in the context of J. J. Gibson's theory of affordances.
Article
Infants 18 to 20 weeks old recognize the correspondence between auditorially and visually presented speech sounds, and the spectral information contained in the sounds is critical to the detection of these correspondences. Some infants imitated the sounds presented during the experiment. Both the ability to detect auditory-visual correspondences and the tendency to imitate may reflect the infant's knowledge of the relationship between audition and articulation.