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    Predictive action tracking without motor experience in 8-month-old infants

    de Klerk, Carina C.J.M. and Southgate, Victoria and Csibra, Gergely (2016) Predictive action tracking without motor experience in 8-month-old infants. Brain and Cognition 109 , pp. 131-139. ISSN 0278-2626.

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    A popular idea in cognitive neuroscience is that to predict others’ actions, observers need to map those actions onto their own motor repertoire. If this is true, infants with a relatively limited motor repertoire should be unable to predict actions with which they have no previous motor experience. We investigated this idea by presenting pre-walking infants with videos of upright and inverted stepping actions that were briefly occluded from view, followed by either a correct (time-coherent) or an incorrect (time- incoherent) continuation of the action (Experiment 1). Pre-walking infants looked significantly longer to the still frame after the incorrect compared to the correct continuations of the upright, but not the inverted stepping actions. This demonstrates that motor experience is not necessary for predictive track- ing of action kinematics. In a follow-up study (Experiment 2), we investigated sensorimotor cortex acti- vation as a neural indication of predictive action tracking in another group of pre-walking infants. Infants showed significantly more sensorimotor cortex activation during the occlusion of the upright stepping actions that the infants in Experiment 1 could predictively track, than during the occlusion of the inverted stepping actions that the infants in Experiment 1 could not predictively track. Taken together, these find- ings are inconsistent with the idea that motor experience is necessary for the predictive tracking of action kinematics, and suggest that infants may be able to use their extensive experience with observing others’ actions to generate real-time action predictions.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Action prediction, Predictive action tracking, Infant development, Motor experience, Sensorimotor alpha, EEG
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Gergo Csibra
    Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 13:01
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:26


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