PosterPDF Available

Infants’ understanding of teleological actions after ostensive communication

Authors:

Abstract

Infants interpret actions as goal directed (Hunnius & Bekkering, 2010) and are also sensitive to ostensive communication (Csibra, 2010). When ostensively addressed, infants perceive the informative content of the communication as relevant, meaningful and generalisable (Csibra & Gergely, 2009). In the following study we ask whether ostensive communication can change the interpretation of an arbitrary action in 9-month-old infants. We used N400 ERP component, sensitive to semantic processing, to answer this question. Based on Reid et al. (2009), we measured the N400 ERP component in an expectancy violation paradigm. We investigated 9-month-old infants in a communicative condition and in a non-communicative control condition. In the communicative condition infants were presented with an actor addressing them ostensively (direct eye contact, infant directed speech) and subsequently performing an action that can have an anticipated or unanticipated outcome. For the N400 we investigated a group of electrodes in the parietal area, similar to Reid et al. As the data showed no clear peaks, we ran an Anova for the 600-800ms time window mean based on previous research (Reid et al., 2009). We found a significant positive deflection for unexpected outcomes (F(1,15) = 8.6, p = .01). We did not find a significant communication-outcome interaction (F(1,15) = 0.5, p = .40). In addition to our hypotheses, we found a main effect of communication between 150-200ms, (F(1,15) = 7.4, p = .02). We also analysed the frontal Nc-component, to investigate whether communication facilitates action understanding through arousal. However, no significant interaction or main effects were observed (all p > .50). The current paradigm did not confirm the hypothesis that ostensive communication changes the interpretation of actions in 9-month olds.
STIMULI'
Infants'saw'videos'of'actors'addressing'them'either'
ostensively'(Infant;Directed'Speech,'direct'gaze)'or'in'
a'control'condition'(Adult;Directed'Speech,'no'direct'
gaze).'This'was'followed'by'6'instances'of'the'actor'
engaging'in'everyday'actions:'Eating'with'a'spoon,'
drinking'from'a'cup,'eating'an'apple.'Each'action'
consisted'of'a'prime'picture'and'an'outcome'picture.''
Christian'Kliesch1''Vincent'Reid1,'Anna'Theakston2,'Eugenio'Parise1'
1'Lancaster'University,'2Manchester'University
Infants’(understanding(of(teleological(!
actions(after(ostensive(communication
INTRODUCTION'
Infants'interpret'actions'as'goal'directed'(Hunnius'&'
Bekkering,'2010)'and'are'also'sensitive'to'ostensive'
communication'(Csibra,'2010).'When'ostensively'
addressed,'infants'perceive'the'informative'content'
of'the'communication'as'relevant,'meaningful'and'
generalisable'(Csibra'&'Gergely,'2009).'In'the'
following'study'we'ask'whether'ostensive'
communication'can'change'the'interpretation'of'an'
arbitrary'action'in'9;month;old'infants.'We'used'
N400'ERP'component,'sensitive'to'semantic'
processing,'to'answer'this'question.''
RESULTS'
For'the'N400'we'investigated'a'group'of'electrodes'in'the'parietal'area,'similar'to'
Reid'et'al.'As'the'data'showed'no'clear'peaks,'we'ran'an'Anova'for'the'600;800ms'
time'window'mean'based'on'previous'research'(Reid'et'al.,'2009).'We'found'a'
significant'positive'deflection'for'unexpected'outcomes'(F(1,15)'='8.6,'p'='.01)'but'
no'significant'communication;outcome'interaction'(F(1,15)'='0.5,'p'='.40).'In'
addition'to'our'main'hypotheses,'we'found'a'main'effect'of'communication'
between'1509200ms,''(F(1,15)'='7.4,'p'='.02).''
We'also'analysed'the'frontal'Nc9component,'to'investigate'whether'communication'
facilitates'action'understanding'through'arousal.'However,'no'significant'interaction'
or'main'effects'were'observed'(all'p'>'.50).'
METHODOLOGY'
Based'on'Reid'et'al.'(2009),'we'measured'the'N400'
ERP'component'in'an'expectancy'violation'paradigm.'
Using'a'HGCS'124'channel'EEG'system,'we'tested'35'
9;month;old'infants,'16'provided'usable'data.
DISCUSSION'
The'current'paradigm'did'not'confirm'the'hypothesis'that'ostensive'communication'
changes'the'interpretation'of'actions'in'9;month'olds.'Further'research'will'
investigate'whether'(1)'this'is'due'to'the'absence'of'the'object'during'
communication'(2)'communication'modulates'the'N400'in'adults'(3)'
communication'elicits'stronger'anticipatory'looking'in'action'anticipation.'
References'
Csibra,'G.,'&'Gergely,'G.'(2009).'Natural'pedagogy.'Trends'in'Cognitive'Sciences,'13,'148–153.''
Csibra,'G.'(2010).'Recognizing'communicative'intentions'in'infancy.'Mind'&'Brain,'25(2),'141–168.''
Hunnius,'S.,'&'Bekkering,'H.'(2010).'The'early'development'of'object'knowledge:'A'study'of'infants’'visual'anticipations'during'action'
observation.'Developmental'Psychology','46'(2),'446.'
Reid,'V.'M.,'Hoehl,'S.,'Grigutsch,'M.,'Groendahl,'A.,'Parise,'E.,'&'Striano,'T.'(2009).'The'neural'correlates'of'infant'and'adult'goal'
prediction:'evidence'for'semantic'processing'systems.'Developmental'Psychology,'45(3),'620–629.''
PRIME
GREETING
Anticipated Unanticipated
Ostensive Control
[Infant;Directed'Speech]!
“Hello&Baby,&look!”
[Adult'speech]'!
“Oh,&what’s&that”
OUTCOME
HYPOTHESIS'
We&hypothesised&that&infants&show&a&N400&effect&in&
both&ostensive&and&control&condition,&but&such&effect&
would&be&stronger&in&the&ostensive&condition.&In&an&
alternative&hypothesis,&ostensive&communication&
reduces&the&N400&effect&because&it&primes&a&novel&
unexpected&outcome.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
We'found'a' significant'positive'deflection'for'unexpected'outcomes'(F(1,15)'='8.6,'p'='.01)'but' no'significant'communication;outcome'interaction'(F(1,15)'='0.5,'p'='.40).'In' addition'to'our'main'hypotheses,'we'found'a'main'effect'of
  • Reid
For'the'N400'we'investigated'a'group'of'electrodes'in'the'parietal'area,'similar'to' Reid'et'al.'As'the'data'showed'no'clear'peaks,'we'ran'an'Anova'for'the'600;800ms' time'window'mean'based'on'previous'research'(Reid'et'al.,'2009).'We'found'a' significant'positive'deflection'for'unexpected'outcomes'(F(1,15)'='8.6,'p'='.01)'but' no'significant'communication;outcome'interaction'(F(1,15)'='0.5,'p'='.40).'In' addition'to'our'main'hypotheses,'we'found'a'main'effect'of'communication' between'1509200ms,''(F(1,15)'='7.4,'p'='.02).''
Further'research'will' investigate'whether'(1)'this'is'due'to'the'absence'of'the'object'during' communication'(2)'communication'modulates'the'N400'in'adults'(3)' communication'elicits'stronger'anticipatory'looking'in'action'anticipation.' References' Csibra
  • S Hunnius
  • H Bekkering
We'also'analysed'the'frontal'Nc9component,'to'investigate'whether'communication' facilitates'action'understanding'through'arousal.'However,'no'significant'interaction' or'main'effects'were'observed'(all'p'>'.50).' METHODOLOGY' Based'on'Reid'et'al.'(2009),'we'measured'the'N400' ERP'component'in'an'expectancy'violation'paradigm.' Using'a'HGCS'124'channel'EEG'system,'we'tested'35' 9;month;old'infants,'16'provided'usable'data. DISCUSSION' The'current'paradigm'did'not'confirm'the'hypothesis'that'ostensive'communication' changes'the'interpretation'of'actions'in'9;month'olds.'Further'research'will' investigate'whether'(1)'this'is'due'to'the'absence'of'the'object'during' communication'(2)'communication'modulates'the'N400'in'adults'(3)' communication'elicits'stronger'anticipatory'looking'in'action'anticipation.' References' Csibra,'G.,'&'Gergely,'G.'(2009).'Natural'pedagogy.'Trends'in'Cognitive'Sciences,'13,'148-153.'' Csibra,'G.'(2010).'Recognizing'communicative'intentions'in'infancy.'Mind'&'Brain,'25(2),'141-168.'' Hunnius,'S.,'&'Bekkering,'H.'(2010).'The'early'development'of'object'knowledge:'A'study'of'infants''visual'anticipations'during'action' observation.'Developmental'Psychology','46'(2),'446.'
The'neural'correlates'of'infant'and'adult'goal' prediction:'evidence'for'semantic'processing'systems
  • V 'm Reid
  • S Hoehl
  • M Grigutsch
  • A Groendahl
  • E Parise
  • Striano
Reid,'V.'M.,'Hoehl,'S.,'Grigutsch,'M.,'Groendahl,'A.,'Parise,'E.,'&'Striano,'T.'(2009).'The'neural'correlates'of'infant'and'adult'goal' prediction:'evidence'for'semantic'processing'systems.'Developmental'Psychology,'45(3),'620-629.''