Burgeoning evidence shows that in typical development, the ability to structure actions according to intentions emerges during infancy. And recent evidence reveals that infancy is a period of rapid change and development in this ability. Early social knowledge depends critically on infants’ active engagement with the physical and social world.

November 6, 2013: Infants’ Grasp of Others’ Intentions: The Development of Social Understanding

November 6, 2013, 4:30-6:30 p.m. EST
Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation
160 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

AmandaPic2_webIn this lecture, Amanda Woodward discusses the nature and origins of children’s social understanding. When we watch others act, we see more than bodies in motion; we see agents whose actions are structured by intentions. This fundamental aspect of human social cognition has profound implications for early childhood development and social learning.

Kevin Pelphrey provides post-lecture commentary on the ways in which our growing understanding of the early developmental origins of children’s social cognition can inform our search for early diagnostic indicators of autism. This, in turn, could lead to more effective early treatments for the core social deficits in autism.

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