Speaker: Janine Oostenbroek
Date: September 4th (Thursday)
Time: 10 am
Location: Social and Behavioural Sciences S502 (in the School of Education)
Title: Individual Differences in Neonatal Imitation and Consequential Developmental Outcomes
One of the most important human skills that underlies learning, communication, memory and representation, is imitation. Imitative behaviour involves the replication of an act or gesture modelled by another. Of particular interest is neonatal imitation as it allows us to gather information about the neonates mind. Neonatal imitation has been a fascinating yet controversial phenomenon spanning the past 30 years. Some researchers claim neonatal imitation to be an intentional communicative act, while others claim that what looks like imitative responding is actually arousal or a reflex. This project aims to clarify this controversy by conducting a large-scale longitudinal study from birth to six months to establish the prevalence and reliability of neonatal imitation while simultaneously charting reflexive behaviour, early motor development and temperament. Very little longitudinal data has been collected on neonatal imitation before. In the seminar I will outline this research proposal.