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Journal Article

Action-effect anticipation in infant action control


Aschersleben,  Gisa
Research Group Infant Cognition and Action, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Hauf, P., & Aschersleben, G. (2008). Action-effect anticipation in infant action control. Psychological Reseach - Psychologische Forschung, 72(2), 203-210. doi:10.1007/s00426-006-0101-3.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-9A22-E
There is increasing evidence that action effects play a crucial role in action understanding and action control not only in adults but also in infants. Most of the research in infants focused on the learning of action-effect contingencies or how action effects help infants to infer goals in other persons' actions. In contrast, the present research aimed at demonstrating that infants control their own actions by action-effect anticipation once they know about specific action-effect relations. About 7 and 9-month olds observed an experimenter demonstrating two actions that differed regarding the action-effect assignment. Either a red-button press or a blue-button press or no button press elicited interesting acoustical and visual effects. The 9-month olds produced the effect action at first, with shorter latency and longer duration sustaining a direct impact of action-effect anticipation on action control. In 7-month olds the differences due to action-effect manipulation were less profound indicating developmental changes at this age. © 2006 Springer-Verlag.