Eighteen-month-old human infants show intensive development in comprehension of different types of pointing gestures

Edina Pfandler, Gabriella Lakatos, A. Miklósi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored children's development in comprehending four types of pointing gestures with different familiarity. Our aim was to highlight human infants' pointing comprehension abilities under the same conditions used for various animal species. Sixteen children were tested longitudinally in a two-choice task from 1 year of age. At the age of 12 and 14 months, infants did not exceed chance level with either of the gestures used. Infants were successful with distal pointing and long cross-pointing at the age of 16 months. By the age of 18 months, infants showed a high success rate with the less familiar gestures (forward cross-pointing and far pointing) as well. Their skills at this older age show close similarity with those demonstrated previously by dogs when using exactly the same testing procedures. Our longitudinal studies also revealed that in a few infants, the ability to comprehend pointing gestures is already apparent before 16 months of age. In general, we found large individual variation. This has been described for a variety of cognitive skills in human development and seems to be typical for pointing comprehension as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-719
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Cognition
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

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Gestures
Aptitude
child development
Human Development
Child Development
familiarity
human development
individual variation
Longitudinal Studies
longitudinal studies
infant
Dogs
dogs
animals

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Comparative
  • Development
  • Gesture
  • Infant
  • Pointing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Eighteen-month-old human infants show intensive development in comprehension of different types of pointing gestures. / Pfandler, Edina; Lakatos, Gabriella; Miklósi, A.

In: Animal Cognition, Vol. 16, No. 5, 09.2013, p. 711-719.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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