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    Facilitation of object encoding in infants by the observation of giving

    Tatone, D. and Hernik, M. and Csibra, Gergely (2021) Facilitation of object encoding in infants by the observation of giving. Scientific Reports 11 , p. 18305. ISSN 2045-2322.

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    We propose that humans are prepared to interpret giving as a diagnostic cue of reciprocal-exchange relations from infancy. A prediction following from this hypothesis is that infants will represent the identity of an object they see being given, because this information is critical for evaluating potential future reciprocation. Across three looking-time experiments we tested whether the observation of a transfer action induces 12-month-olds to encode the identity of a single object handled by an agent. We found that infants encoded the object identity when the agent gave the object (Experiment 1), but not when she took it (Experiment 2), despite being able to represent the goal of both actions (Experiments 1 and 3). Consistent with our hypothesis, these results suggest that the infants’ representation of giving comprises information necessary for comparing the value of transferred goods across sharing episodes.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Gergo Csibra
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 11:48
    Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 22:57


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