Former Research Group Infant Cognition and Action

The research unit "Infant Cognition and Action" is investigating the early development of the cognitive mechanisms of action perception and control. The theoretical approach our research is based on is the Common Coding theory. In general, we assume that similar to adults, even young infants have an abstract representation of actions. This representation is used by both the perceptual system to perceive and interpret actions of other persons as goal-directed and by the motor system to perform goal-directed actions.

The idea of a common representational domain for perception and action in infants leads to a series of research questions in various domains. The research conducted in the Babylab investigates different aspects of action perception and its interplay with action control. Therefore, we use different paradigms and methods like measuring looking time and heart rate, the analysis of infants’ eye movements using a Tobii Eye Tracking system, and the analysis of infants’ imitation of observed actions.

The main aims of the research unit are to investigate

  1. the development of infant understanding of actions performed by other persons;
  2. cognitive aspects of infant action control and how they develop;
  3. how action perception and control are related to each other in early development;
  4. selective perception and imitation of differently aged models.

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