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Human infants have an enormous amount to learn from others to become full-fledged members of their culture. Thus, it is important that they learn from reliable, rather than unreliable, models. In two experiments, we investigated whether 14-month-olds (a) imitate instrumental actions and (b) adopt the individual preferences of a model differently depending(More)
In their widely noticed study, Gergely, Bekkering, and Király (2002) showed that 14-month-old infants imitated an unusual action only if the model freely chose to perform this action and not if the choice of the action could be ascribed to external constraints. They attributed this kind of selective imitation to the infants' capacity of understanding the(More)
Recent research has shown that infants are more likely to engage with in-group over out-group members. However, it is not known whether infants' learning is influenced by a model's group membership. This study investigated whether 14-month-olds (N = 66) selectively imitate and adopt the preferences of in-group versus out-group members. Infants watched an(More)
It is well documented that in the first year after birth, infants are able to identify self-performed actions. This ability has been regarded as the basis of conscious self-perception. However, it is not yet known whether infants are also sensitive to aspects of the self when they cannot control the sensory feedback by means of self-performed actions.(More)
Infants' imitation of differently aged models has been predominately investigated with object-related actions and so far has lead to mixed evidence. Whereas some studies reported an increased likelihood of imitating peer models in contrast to adult models, other studies reported the opposite pattern of results. In the present study, 14-month-old infants(More)
In human adults, learning and memory under acute stress are characterized by an increased use of rigid habitual response strategies at the cost of flexible cognitive strategies. The immediate effects of stress on cognitive functioning early in life are not well understood. Here we show experimentally that acute stress leads human infants to perform habitual(More)
Previous research reports mixed results concerning infants' differential interest for a specific age group. Most of these findings are based on studies using static photographs and drawings as stimuli. Moreover, only behavioral data were used to investigate infants' attentional preferences. In the present study, we showed video sequences of differently aged(More)
Previous research suggests that sensitivity to aspects of the self and others develop in tandem. We tested 14- and 18-month-olds' imitative abilities and mirror self-image reactions (i.e., testing behavior and passing the mark test). Results showed that 14-month-olds' imitation was closely related to the occurrence of testing behavior in front of the(More)
Imitation is a frequent behavior in the first years of life, and serves both a social function (e.g., to interact with others) and a cognitive function (e.g., to learn a new skill). Infants differ in their temperament, and temperament might be related to the dominance of one function of imitation. In this study, we investigated whether temperament and(More)
Stress-induction procedures designed to increase cortisol levels in infants have been ineffective in many studies. One reason might be that infants did not have sufficient time to settle into the laboratory environment prior to the start of the stress induction, and thus already had high baseline levels of cortisol. In this study we investigate whether an(More)