Infants’ Grasp of Others’ Intentions: The Development of Social Understanding

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Autism Research lectures are open to the public and are held at the Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Tea is served prior to each lecture.

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In 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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