Infants predict other people's action goals

Nat Neurosci. 2006 Jul;9(7):878-9. doi: 10.1038/nn1729. Epub 2006 Jun 18.


Do infants come to understand other people's actions through a mirror neuron system that maps an observed action onto motor representations of that action? We demonstrate that a specialized system for action perception guides proactive goal-directed eye movements in 12-month-old but not in 6-month-old infants, providing direct support for this view. The activation of this system requires observing an interaction between the hand of the agent and an object.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Concept Formation
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior / physiology*
  • Infant
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Personal Construct Theory
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception / physiology