Neonatal imitation and early social experience predict gaze following abilities in infant monkeys

Simpson, E.A., Miller, G.M., Ferrari, P.F., Suomi, S.J. and Paukner, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3421-1864, 2016. Neonatal imitation and early social experience predict gaze following abilities in infant monkeys. Scientific Reports, 6 (1): 20233. ISSN 2045-2322

[img]
Preview
Text
13216_Paukner.pdf - Published version

Download (437kB) | Preview

Abstract

Individuals vary in their social skills and motivation, the causes of which remain largely unknown. Here we investigated whether an individual’s propensity to interact with others measured within days after birth, and differences in infants’ early social environment, may predict a later social skill. Specifically, we tested whether neonatal imitation—newborns’ capacity to match modelled actions—and social experience in the first months of life predict gaze following (directing attention to locations where others look), in infant macaques (Macaca mulatta; n = 119). Facial gesture imitation in the first week of life predicted gaze following at 7 months of age. Imitators were better at gaze following than non-imitators, suggesting neonatal imitation may be an early marker predicting socio-cognitive functioning. In addition, infants with rich social environments outperformed infants with less socialization, suggesting early social experiences also support the development of infants’ gaze following competence. The present study offers compelling evidence that an individual difference present from birth predicts a functional social cognitive skill in later infancy. In addition, this foundational skill—gaze following—is plastic, and can be improved through social interactions, providing infants with a strong foundation for later social interaction and learning.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Creators: Simpson, E.A., Miller, G.M., Ferrari, P.F., Suomi, S.J. and Paukner, A.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Date: 1 February 2016
Volume: 6
Number: 1
ISSN: 2045-2322
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1038/srep20233DOI
BFsrep20233Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 25 Jan 2019 09:08
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2019 09:08
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/35685

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View

Views

Views per month over past year

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year