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  Eighteen-month-olds integrate verbal cues into their action processing: Evidence from ERPs and mu power

Patzwald, C., Matthes, D., & Elsner, B. (2020). Eighteen-month-olds integrate verbal cues into their action processing: Evidence from ERPs and mu power. Infant Behavior and Development, 58: 101414. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2019.101414.

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Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Patzwald, Christiane1, Author
Matthes, Daniel2, Author              
Elsner, Birgit1, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Max Planck Research Group Early Social Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2355694              

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Free keywords: EEG; Infancy; Social cues; Verbs; Action processing; Social learning; Event-related potentials (ERPs); Mu power; Motor activation
 Abstract: Behavioral research has shown that infants use both behavioral cues and verbal cues when processing the goals of others’ actions. For instance, 18-month-olds selectively imitate an observed goal-directed action depending on its (in)congruence with a model’s previous verbal announcement of a desired action goal. This EEG-study analyzed the electrophysiological underpinnings of these behavioral findings on the two functional levels of conceptual action processing and motor activation. Mid-latency mean negative ERP amplitude and mu-frequency band power were analyzed while 18-month-olds (N = 38) watched videos of an adult who performed one out of two potential actions on a novel object. In a within-subjects design, the action demonstration was preceded by either a congruent or an incongruent verbally announced action goal (e.g., “up” or “down” and upward movement). Overall, ERP negativity did not differ between conditions, but a closer inspection revealed that in two subgroups, about half of the infants showed a broadly distributed increased mid-latency ERP negativity (indicating enhanced conceptual action processing) for either the congruent or the incongruent stimuli, respectively. As expected, mu power at sensorimotor sites was reduced (indicating enhanced motor activation) for congruent relative to incongruent stimuli in the entire sample. Both EEG correlates were related to infants’ language skills. Hence, 18-month-olds integrate action-goal-related verbal cues into their processing of others’ actions, at the functional levels of both conceptual processing and motor activation. Further, cue integration when inferring others’ action goals is related to infants’ language proficiency.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-12-182019-05-302019-12-192020-01-242020-02
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2019.101414
Other: Epub ahead of print
PMID: 31986314
 Degree: -

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Project name : Crossing the Borders: The Interplay of Language, Cognition, and the Brain in Early Human Development / FOR 2253
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

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Title: Infant Behavior and Development
  Other : Infant Behav. Dev.
Source Genre: Journal
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Affiliations:
Publ. Info: Norwood, N.J. : JAI
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 58 Sequence Number: 101414 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0163-6383
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925479567