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    The role of sensorimotor experience in the development of mimicry in infancy

    de Klerk, Carina C.J.M. and Lamy-Yang, I. and Southgate, Victoria (2019) The role of sensorimotor experience in the development of mimicry in infancy. Developmental Science 22 (3), e12771. ISSN 1363-755x.

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    During social interactions we often have an automatic and unconscious tendency to copy or 'mimic' others' actions. The dominant view on the neural basis of mimicry appeals to an automatic coupling between perception and action. It has been suggested that this coupling is formed through associative learning during correlated sensorimotor experience. Although studies with adult participants have provided support for this hypothesis, little is known about the role of sensorimotor experience in supporting the development of perceptual-motor couplings, and consequently mimicry behaviour, in infancy. Here we investigated whether the extent to which an observed action elicits mimicry depends on the opportunity an infant has had to develop perceptual-motor couplings for this action through correlated sensorimotor experience. We found that mothers' tendency to imitate their 4-month-olds' facial expressions during a parent-child interaction session was related to infants' facial mimicry as measured by EMG. Maternal facial imitation was not related to infants' mimicry of hand actions, and instead we found preliminary evidence that infants' tendency to look at their own hands may be related to their tendency to mimic hand actions. These results are consistent with the idea that mimicry is supported by perceptual-motor couplings that are formed through correlated sensorimotor experience obtained by observing one's own actions and imitative social partners. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. [Abstract copyright: This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.]


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): EMG, associative learning, infancy, mimicry, parent-child interaction
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    SWORD Depositor: Mr Joe Tenant
    Depositing User: Mr Joe Tenant
    Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2018 14:53
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:46


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