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Goal representation in the infant brain

Southgate, V; Begus, K; Lloyd-Fox, S; di Gangi, V; Hamilton, A; (2014) Goal representation in the infant brain. NeuroImage , 85 (Part 1) 294- 301. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.08.043. Green open access

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Abstract

It is well established that, from an early age, human infants interpret the movements of others as actions directed towards goals. However, the cognitive and neural mechanisms which underlie this ability are hotly debated. The current study was designed to identify brain regions involved in the representation of others' goals early in development. Studies with adults have demonstrated that the anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS) exhibits repetition suppression for repeated goals and a release from suppression for new goals, implicating this specific region in goal representation in adults. In the current study, we used a modified paired repetition suppression design with 9-month-old infants to identify which cortical regions are suppressed when the infant observes a repeated goal versus a new goal. We find a strikingly similar response pattern and location of activity as had been reported in adults; the only brain region displaying significant repetition suppression for repeated goals and a release from suppression for new goals was the left anterior parietal region. Not only does our data suggest that the left anterior parietal region is specialized for representing the goals of others' actions from early in life, this demonstration presents an opportunity to use this method and design to elucidate the debate over the mechanisms and cues which contribute to early action understanding. © 2013.

Type: Article
Title: Goal representation in the infant brain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.08.043
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.08.043
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1408245
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