The understanding of own and others’ actions during infancy

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Developmental psychologists assume that infants understand other persons&#8217; actions <i>after and because</i> they understand their own (&#8220;Like-me&#8221; perspective). However, there is another possibility as well, namely that infants come to understand their own actions <i>after and because</i> they understand other persons&#8217; actions (&#8220;Like-you&#8221; perspective). We reviewed infant research on the influence of perceived actions on self-performed actions as well as the reverse. Furthermore, we investigated the interplay between both aspects of action understanding by means of a sequence variation. The results show the impact of agentive experience for action understanding, but not the reverse. The question whether infants&#8217; perceived and to-be-produced actions share common representations of the perceptual and the motor system is discussed in relation to its implications for the social making of minds.


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