Animal studies help clarify misunderstandings about neonatal imitation

Elizabeth A. Simpson, Sarah E. Maylott, Mikael Heimann, Francys Subiaul, Annika Paukner, Stephen J. Suomi, Pier F. Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Empirical studies are incompatible with the proposal that neonatal imitation is arousal driven or declining with age. Nonhuman primate studies reveal a functioning brain mirror system from birth, developmental continuity in imitation and later sociability, and the malleability of neonatal imitation, shaped by the early environment. A narrow focus on arousal effects and reflexes may grossly underestimate neonatal capacities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e400
JournalThe Behavioral and brain sciences
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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