Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience

"Passing spontaneous-answer false belief tasks in infancy by reading others’ motor intentions"

Infants in their second year of life have been found already sensitive to others’ false beliefs. Yet, it is still subject of debate whether the cognitive processes granting this capacity represent the earliest stage of a theory-of-mind module or rather exploit behaviour-reading strategies. Consistently with an embodied view of action planning and recognition, I propose that early social cognitive abilities depend on infants’ sensitivity to hierarchically-structured motor behaviour. By focusing infants’ earliest understanding of others’ motor intentions, I thus explain early social cognitive development without the need of strong mentalistic interpretations.