Visual attention during neonatal imitation in newborn macaque monkeys

Simpson, E.A., Paukner, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3421-1864, Suomi, S.J. and Ferrari, P.F., 2014. Visual attention during neonatal imitation in newborn macaque monkeys. Developmental Psychobiology, 56 (4), pp. 864-870. ISSN 0012-1630

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Previous studies suggest that about 50% of rhesus macaque infants engage in neonatal imitation of facial gestures. Here we measured whether individual differences in newborn macaques' (n = 49) visual attention may explain why some infants imitate lipsmacking (LPS) and tongue protrusion (TP) gestures. LPS imitators, but not TP imitators, looked more to a human experimenter's face and to a control stimulus compared to nonimitators (p = .017). LPS imitation was equally accurate when infants were looking at faces and when they were looking away (p = .221); TP imitation was more accurate when infants were looking at faces (p = .001). Potentially, less attention is necessary for LPS imitation compared to TP imitation, as LPS is part of macaques' natural communicative repertoire. These findings suggest that facial gestures may differentially engage imitators and nonimitators, and infants' visual attention during neonatal assessments may uncover the conditions that support this skill.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Developmental Psychobiology
Creators: Simpson, E.A., Paukner, A., Suomi, S.J. and Ferrari, P.F.
Publisher: John Wiley
Date: May 2014
Volume: 56
Number: 4
ISSN: 0012-1630
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 24 Jan 2019 14:43
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2019 13:50

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