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Photo: Thomas Hölzel

Imitation

A means for the development of important cognitive processes

Imitated actions in toddlers, young infants and pre-school children have received a lot of attention in developmental research. Imitation of actions can be used as a means for the development of important cognitive and mental processes.  By imitating other people's behaviour children can acquire complex behavioural patterns in very short time.  Results provided by the imitation of actions allow drawing conclusions on the astonishing cognitive and motoric skills of children. In imitation studies, we usually demonstrate certain actions with toys, which subsequently get imitated by the infant. Accompanied by its parents the infant can take part at a single or several experiments in our labs. To be able to analyse the data we often have to video record the testing. 

 

Photo: Thomas Hölzel

Eine Testleiterin macht eine Bewegung bei einem Spielzeug vor
Kind sitzt mit Mama und Testleiter am tisch und spielt mit Spielzeug
Man sieht über die Schulter eines Testleiters hinweg seine Perspektive auf den PC-Monitor, der die spielsituation zeigt

We demonstrate actions...

... and the children join in...

... from the technical perspective