AbstractCannon, E. N., Woodward, A. L., Gredeback, G. von Hofsten, C., & Turek, C. (2012) Action production influences 12-month-old infants' attention to others' actions. Developmental Science, 15, 35-42.
Recent work implicates a link between action control systems and action understanding. In this study, we investigated the role of the motor system in the development of visual anticipation of others’ actions. Twelve-month-olds engaged in behavioral and observation tasks. Containment activity, infants’ spontaneous engagement in producing containment actions; and gaze latency, how quickly they shifted gaze to the goal object of another’s containment actions, were measured. Findings revealed a positive relationship: infants who received the behavior task first evidenced a strong correlation between their own actions and their subsequent gaze latency of another’s actions. Learning over the course of trials was not evident. These findings demonstrate a direct influence of the motor system on online visual attention to others’ actions early in development.