A Case for Sensorimotor Simulation as a Basis for the Animate–Inanimate Distinction in Infancy

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
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In this opinion paper, we aim to delineate the development of the person–object differentiation in visuomotor behavior as established during the first two years of life, which can be conceived as a precursor for the broader distinction between animate and inanimate entities, which in turn form the basis of the more inclusive biological–nonbiological distinction (Poulin-Dubois, Lepage, & Ferland, 1996). We then discuss embodied sensorimotor simulation, which allows us to use the self as a model for perceiving objects in our environment, as a potential mechanism underlying this distinction.

Hegele and Seyfried are with the Dept. of Psychology and Sport Science, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany.

Please address author correspondence to Mathias Hegele at Mathias.Hegele@sport.uni-giessen.de
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