Action prediction during real-time social interactions in infancy

AbstractDevelopmental theory considers action prediction as one of several processes involved in determining how infants come to perceive and understand social events (Gredebäck & Daum, 2015). Action prediction is observed from early in life and is considered an important social-cognitive skill. However, knowledge about infant action prediction is limited to evidence from screen-based eye-tracking tasks. Little is known about action prediction in real-life action contexts. Our aim in the current study was to provide new evidence on whether and how infants anticipate actions in free-flowing parent-child interaction. Using dual head-mounted eye-tracking, we analyzed infants’ visual anticipations of their parents’ reaching actions while they played with objects together. Findings reveal that infants anticipate their parents’ actions at a rate higher than would be expected by chance.

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