Detecting contingency: A key to understanding development of self and social cognition



Abstract:  Detecting contingency between self-produced actions and the consequences plays a crucial role for basic cognitive functions, such as construction of self body-image and tool-use. This paper reviews our recent studies focusing on the temporal aspect of contingency. Three studies concerning the detection of proprioceptive-visual contingency in infants, children and adults are summarized. All of these studies use delayed self-image as a tool to investigate the temporal aspect of contingency detection. Based on the results of these studies and related preceding research, the paper proposes the ubiquity of a contingency detector among the development of self and social interaction.