Extrapolation and direct matching mediate anticipation in infancy

Infant Behav Dev. 2014 Feb;37(1):111-8. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2013.12.002. Epub 2014 Jan 29.


Why are infants able to anticipate occlusion events and other people's actions but not the movement of self-propelled objects? This study investigated infant and adult anticipatory gaze shifts during observation of self-propelled objects and human goal-directed actions. Six-month-old infants anticipated self-propelled balls but not human actions. This demonstrates that different processes mediate the ability to anticipate human actions (direct matching) versus self-propelled objects (extrapolation).

Keywords: Action; Anticipation; Extrapolation; Eye tracking; Infant; Prediction; Social cognition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticipation, Psychological*
  • Concept Formation / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Motivation / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*