Twelve-month-olds' comprehension and production of pointing

Tanya Behne*, Ulf Liszkowski, Malinda Carpenter, Michael Tomasello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored whether infants aged 12 months already recognize the communicative function of pointing gestures. Infants participated in a task requiring them to comprehend an adult's informative pointing gesture to the location of a hidden toy. They mostly succeeded in this task, which required them to infer that the adult was attempting to direct their attention to a location for a reason because she wanted them to know that a toy was hidden there. Many of the infants also rueversed roles and produced appropriate pointing gestures for the adult in this same game, and indeed there was a correlation such that comprehenders were for the most part producers. These findings indicate that by 12 months of age infants are beginning to show a bidirectional understanding of communicative pointing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-375
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

Keywords

  • JOINT VISUAL-ATTENTION
  • COMMUNICATIVE INTENTIONS
  • OBJECT KNOWLEDGE
  • DIRECTED ACTION
  • HIDDEN OBJECTS
  • FIELD-THEORY
  • B ERRORS
  • INFANTS
  • GESTURE
  • LOCATION

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