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Goal saliency boosts infants' action prediction for human manual actions, but not for mechanical claws
Univ Potsdam, Dept Psychol, Karl Liebknecht Str 24-25, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany..
Euro FH Univ Appl Sci, Dept Psychol, Hamburg, Germany..
Univ Tubingen, Dept Psychol, Tubingen, Germany..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2016 (English)In: Infant Behavior and Development, ISSN 0163-6383, E-ISSN 1879-0453, Vol. 44, 29-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research indicates that infants' prediction of the goals of observed actions is influenced by own experience with the type of agent performing the action (i.e., human hand vs. non-human agent) as well as by action-relevant features of goal objects (e.g., object size). The present study investigated the combined effects of these factors on 12-month-olds' action prediction. Infants' (N=49) goal-directed gaze shifts were recorded as they observed 14 trials in which either a human hand or a mechanical claw reached for a small goal area (low-saliency goal) or a large goal area (high-saliency goal). Only infants who had observed the human hand reaching for a high-saliency goal fixated the goal object ahead of time, and they rapidly learned to predict the action goal across trials. By contrast, infants in all other conditions did not track the observed action in a predictive manner, and their gaze shifts to the action goal did not change systematically across trials. Thus, high-saliency goals seem to boost infants' predictive gaze shifts during the observation of human manual actions, but not of actions performed by a mechanical device. This supports the assumption that infants' action predictions are based on interactive effects of action-relevant object features (e.g., size) and own action experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 44, 29-37 p.
Keyword [en]
Infancy, Goal saliency, Anticipatory gaze shifts, Eye tracking, Action processing
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-304422DOI: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2016.05.001ISI: 000382804400004PubMedID: 27267784OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-304422DiVA: diva2:1033142
German Research Foundation (DFG), EL 252/5-2)EU, European Research Council, CACTUS/312292Swedish Research Council, 2011-1528
Available from: 2016-10-05 Created: 2016-10-05 Last updated: 2016-10-05Bibliographically approved

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