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Mathias Hegele and Friedrike Seyfried

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.