Affordable Access

Infants attribute goals even to biomechanically impossible actions

Authors
Publisher
Elsevier B.V.
Publication Date
Volume
107
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.10.002
Keywords
  • Goal Attribution
  • Biological Motion
  • Efficiency
  • Infants
Disciplines
  • Physics

Abstract

Abstract Human infants readily interpret the actions of others in terms of goals, but the origins of this important cognitive skill are keenly debated. We tested whether infants recognize others′ actions as goal-directed on the basis of their experience with carrying out and observing goal-directed actions, or whether their perception of a goal-directed action is based on the recognition of a specific event structure. Counterintuitively, but consistent with our prediction, we observed that infants appear to extend goal attribution even to biomechanically impossible actions so long as they are physically efficient, indicating that the notion of ‘goal′ is unlikely to be derived directly from infants′ experience.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.