The study employed four gestural models using frame-by-frame microanalytic methods, and followed how the behaviours unfolded over time. Forty-two human newborns (0–3 days) were examined for their imitation of tongue protrusion, ‘head tilt with looking up’, three-finger and two-finger gestures. The results showed that all three gesture groups were imitated. Results of the temporal analyses revealed an early and a later, second stage of responses. Later responses were characterized by a suppression of similar, but non-matching movements. Perinatal imitation is not a phenomenon served by a single underlying mechanism; it has at least two different stages. An early phase is followed by voluntary matching behaviour by the neonatal infant.
- Perinatal imitation
- neonatal imitation
- behavioural analysis
Nagy, E., Pilling, K., Blake, V., & Orvos, H. (2019). Positive evidence for neonatal imitation: A general response, adaptive engagement. Developmental Science, 23(2), 1-16. [e12894]. https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12894