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Imitation recognition and its prosocial effects in 6-month old infants

Sauciuc, Gabriela-Alina LU ; Zlakowska, Jagoda ; Persson, Tomas LU ; Lenninger, Sara LU and Madsen, Elainie LU (2020) In PLoS ONE 15(5).
Abstract
The experience of being imitated is theorised to be a driving force of infant social cognition, yet evidence on the emergence of imitation recognition and the effects of imitation in early infancy is disproportionately scarce. To address this lack of empirical evidence, in a within-subjects study we compared the responses of 6-month old infants when exposed to ipsilateral imitation as opposed to non-imitative contingent responding. To examine mediating mechanisms of imitation recognition, infants were exposed to two additional conditions: contralateral imitation and bodily imitation with suppressed emotional mimicry. We found that testing behaviours - the hallmark of high-level imitation recognition - occurred at significantly higher... (More)
The experience of being imitated is theorised to be a driving force of infant social cognition, yet evidence on the emergence of imitation recognition and the effects of imitation in early infancy is disproportionately scarce. To address this lack of empirical evidence, in a within-subjects study we compared the responses of 6-month old infants when exposed to ipsilateral imitation as opposed to non-imitative contingent responding. To examine mediating mechanisms of imitation recognition, infants were exposed to two additional conditions: contralateral imitation and bodily imitation with suppressed emotional mimicry. We found that testing behaviours - the hallmark of high-level imitation recognition - occurred at significantly higher rates in each of the imitation conditions compared to the contingent responding condition. Moreover, when being imitated, infants showed higher levels of attention, smiling and approach behaviours compared to the contingent responding condition. The suppression of emotional mimicry moderated some of these results, leading to a decrease in smiling and approach behaviours. The results show that imitation engenders prosocial effects in 6-month old infants and that infants at this age reliably show evidence of implicit and high-level imitation recognition. In turn, the latter is indicative of a sensitivity to others’ embodied intentions. (Less)
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author
; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
15
issue
5
article number
e0232717
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • pmid:32433668
  • scopus:85085156651
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0232717
project
Social bonding as a facilitator of intra- and cross-species imitation
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5f85084f-1100-4244-bcdb-25afe75287ec
date added to LUP
2019-01-30 08:09:38
date last changed
2020-09-08 03:00:38
@article{5f85084f-1100-4244-bcdb-25afe75287ec,
  abstract     = {The experience of being imitated is theorised to be a driving force of infant social cognition, yet evidence on the emergence of imitation recognition and the effects of imitation in early infancy is disproportionately scarce. To address this lack of empirical evidence, in a within-subjects study we compared the responses of 6-month old infants when exposed to ipsilateral imitation as opposed to non-imitative  contingent responding. To examine mediating mechanisms of imitation recognition, infants were exposed to two additional conditions: contralateral imitation and bodily imitation with suppressed emotional mimicry. We found that testing behaviours - the hallmark of high-level imitation recognition - occurred at significantly higher rates in each of the imitation conditions compared to the contingent responding condition. Moreover, when being imitated, infants showed higher levels of attention, smiling and approach behaviours compared to the contingent responding condition. The suppression of emotional mimicry moderated some of these results, leading to a decrease in smiling and approach behaviours. The results show that imitation engenders prosocial effects in 6-month old infants and that infants at this age reliably show evidence of implicit and high-level imitation recognition. In turn, the latter is indicative of a sensitivity to others’ embodied intentions.},
  author       = {Sauciuc, Gabriela-Alina and Zlakowska, Jagoda and Persson, Tomas and Lenninger, Sara and Madsen, Elainie},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  number       = {5},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Imitation recognition and its prosocial effects in 6-month old infants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0232717},
  doi          = {10.1371/journal.pone.0232717},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2020},
}