Imitation of facial and manual gestures by human neonates

Science. 1977 Oct 7;198(4312):74-8. doi: 10.1126/science.897687.


Infants between 12 and 21 days of age can imitate both facial and manual gestures; this behavior cannot be explained in terms of either conditioning or innate releasing mechanisms. Such imitation implies that human neonates can equate their own unseen behaviors with gestures they see others perform.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arousal
  • Child Behavior* / physiology
  • Female
  • Fingers
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior* / physiology
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Male
  • Mouth