Social Cognition in the Early Years

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The CERI OECD/National Science Foundation International Conference took place in Paris, at the OECD Headquarters on 23-24 January 2012. Here the presentation of Session 5, Informal Learning, Item 3.

The CERI OECD/National Science Foundation International Conference took place in Paris, at the OECD Headquarters on 23-24 January 2012. Here the presentation of Session 5, Informal Learning, Item 3.

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  • 1. Social Cognition in the Early Years Andrew N. Meltzoff LIFE Center University of Washington http://ilabs.washington.edu
  • 2. Two Starting Points for Theory & Practice • Human learning starts at birth, so the Science of Learning must start at birth • Infants learn first and best from other people: “Social Leaning”
  • 3. Role Models and Imitative Learning
  • 4. Imitation as a Basic Learning Mechanism For Transmission of Culture We discovered that imitation begins at birth!
  • 5. Emotions and Learning
In the second year of life, infants are verysensitive to emotional reactions. This influencestheir learning. The research is explained in thereferences below:• Repacholi & Meltzoff, Child Development, 2007• Repacholi, Meltzoff, & Olsen, Developmental Psychology, 2008This shows that non-cognitive factors play amajor role in pre-school learning
  • 6. The Social BrainWe investigated the neural basis of sociallearning, using EEG recordings in youngchildren as they observed and imitated an adult
  • 7. Imitation Task for EEG (mu rhythm desynchronization)Marshall & Meltzoff Marshall, Young, & Meltzoff,Dev. Cog. Neurosci., 2011 Dev. Sci., 2011
  • 8. Gaze Following: Social Learning
  • 9. Gaze Following is crucial developmental component of learning • Learning language, names for things •  Learning about new objects and concepts •  Acquiring new skills via imitation and instruction
  • 10. Gaze Following & Joint Visual Attention Using technology • Problem: Establishing joint reference in computer- mediated communications and multimedia • Domains: Diagrams, pictures, dynamic videos • Important: For computer supported collaborative learning
  • 11. Infant Gaze Following TimeBrooks & Meltzoff,Dev. Psych., 2002
  • 12. Gaze and Language Learning: Gaze Following + Pointing Predicts Vocabulary Growth (SES controlled) 600 + High Social Gaze 500Words Produced Following & Pointing 400 300 -  Low Social Gaze 200 Following & Pointing 100 0 10-11 14 18 24 Brooks & Meltzoff (2008) Age in Months J. of Child Language
  • 13. Extensions to Social Robots Infant Imitation Robotic Imitation Meltzoff, Brooks, Shon, & RaoRobotic Gaze Following (2010). Neural Networks.
  • 14. Psychological Theory• Infants: Imitation of a person’s motor behavior• Elementary-school children: Take on the attitudes & attributes associated of the group - With development, children establish ‘Like me’ class. Based on that, the way culture treats other ‘like me’ people has implications for the child’s development. This applies across the life-span. Meltzoff, “Like Me” theory, Dev. Sci. 2007
  • 15. Practice Gaze Following & Imitation in Everyday LifeChildren learn naturally bywatching what others doBut in formal schoolingwe often force themto learn in isolation
  • 16. A New Science of LearningMeltzoff, Kuhl, Movellan, & Sejnowski, Science (2009)