December 2017
Volume 17, Issue 15
Open Access
OSA Fall Vision Meeting Abstract  |   December 2017
Children can predict actions from subtle preparatory movements, but not as well as adults
Author Affiliations
  • Maryam Vaziri-Pashkam
    NIMH, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition
  • Daniel Kim
    Harvard University, Department of Psychology
  • Samuel Mehr
    Harvard University, Department of Psychology
  • Ken Nakayama
    Harvard University, Department of Psychology
  • Elizabeth Spelke
    Harvard University, Department of Psychology
Journal of Vision December 2017, Vol.17, 51. doi:10.1167/17.15.51
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Maryam Vaziri-Pashkam, Daniel Kim, Samuel Mehr, Ken Nakayama, Elizabeth Spelke; Children can predict actions from subtle preparatory movements, but not as well as adults. Journal of Vision 2017;17(15):51. doi: 10.1167/17.15.51.

      Download citation file:


      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

We designed a two-person competitive reaching task in a naturalistic setting to compare the action reading ability of 6–8-year-old children and adults. Two participants faced each other separated by a Plexiglass screen. One (a confederate adult Attacker) was instructed to touch one of two targets on the screen, and the other (a child or an adult Blocker) was told to touch the same target as quickly as possible. In both children and adults, Blocker reaction times were fast, much faster than the reaction times to a dot projected on the screen moving in the same manner. These results suggest that Blockers use subtle preparatory movements of Attackers to predict their goal. Next, we occluded body parts of the Attacker to determine the location of the bodily cues used by adults and children to achieve fast reactions. Both children and adults reacted fast when only the torso and arms were visible. Adults also reacted fast when only the head and shoulders were visible, indicating that they were able to read the goal of the Attacker from the cues in the head and shoulders, but children did not. These results suggest that adult humans have knowledge of the biomechanical constraints of the bodily movements of others and use it to accurately predict actions. This ability is present but still developing in 6–8- year-old children.

×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×