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‘Like me’: a foundation for social cognition


Address for correspondence: Andrew N. Meltzoff, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington (Box 357920), Seattle, WA 98195, USA; e-mail:


Infants represent the acts of others and their own acts in commensurate terms. They can recognize cross-modal equivalences between acts they see others perform and their own felt bodily movements. This recognition of self–other equivalences in action gives rise to interpreting others as having similar psychological states such as perceptions and emotions. The ‘like me’ nature of others is the starting point for social cognition, not its culmination.