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Infant Behav Dev. 2008 Jan;31(1):81-91. Epub 2007 Aug 24.

Variations in 10-month-old infant imitation of people and things.

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York University, Toronto, Canada.


To explore 10-month-old infants' abilities to engage in intentional imitation, they were shown a human agent, a non-human agent (stuffed animal), and a surrogate object (mechanical pincers) model actions on objects. The tendency of infants to perform the target act was compared in several situations: (a) after test items were manipulated but the target action was not shown, (b) after the target act was demonstrated successfully, and (c) after the target act was demonstrated unsuccessfully. Although infants imitated the successful actions of human and non-human agents, they completed the unsuccessful actions of humans only. Toward the surrogate object infants did not respond differentially. These findings suggest that although infant may mimic the actions of human and non-human agents, they only engage in intentional imitation with people.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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