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/debate

2 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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    Simpson, E. A., Maylott, S. E., Heimann, M., Subiaul, F., Paukner, A., Suomi, S. J., & Ferrari, P. F. (2017). Animal studies help clarify misunderstandings about neonatal imitation. The Behavioral and brain sciences, 40, e400.