Send to

Choose Destination
Neural Netw. 2010 Oct-Nov;23(8-9):1033-42. doi: 10.1016/j.neunet.2010.08.012. Epub 2010 Sep 6.

Using social information to guide action: infants' locomotion over slippery slopes.

Author information

Department of Psychology, New York University, 4 Washington Place, Room 410, New York, NY 10003, United States.

Erratum in

  • Neural Netw. 2011 Mar;24(2):217.


In uncertain situations such as descending challenging slopes, social signals from caregivers can provide infants with important information for guiding action. Previous work showed that 18-month-old walking infants use social information selectively, only when risk of falling is uncertain. Experiment 1 was designed to alter infants' region of uncertainty for walking down slopes. Slippery Teflon-soled shoes drastically impaired 18-month-olds' ability to walk down slopes compared with walking barefoot or in standard crepe-soled shoes, shifting the region of uncertainty to a shallower range of slopes. In Experiment 2, infants wore Teflon-soled shoes while walking down slopes as their mothers encouraged and discouraged them from walking. Infants relied on social information on shallow slopes, even at 0°, where the probability of walking successfully was uncertain in the Teflon-soled shoes. Findings indicate that infants' use of social information is dynamically attuned to situational factors and the state of their current abilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center