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Recognizing the role of perception in action at 6 months


Address for correspondence: Yuyan Luo, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA; e-mail:


The present research examined whether infants as young as 6 months of age would consider what objects a human agent could perceive when interpreting her actions on the objects. In two experiments, the infants took the agent's actions of repeatedly reaching for and grasping one of two possible objects as suggesting her preference for that object only when the agent could detect both objects, not when the agent's perceptual access to the second object was absent, either because a large screen hid the object from the agent (Experiment 1), or because the agent sat with her back toward the object (Experiment 2). These results suggest that young infants recognize the role of perception in constraining an agent's goal-actions.