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      Jointly structuring triadic spaces of meaning and action: book sharing from 3 months on

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          This study explores the emergence of triadic interactions through the example of book sharing. As part of a naturalistic study, 10 infants were visited in their homes from 3–12 months. We report that (1) book sharing as a form of infant-caregiver-object interaction occurred from as early as 3 months. Using qualitative video analysis at a micro-level adapting methodologies from conversation and interaction analysis, we demonstrate that caregivers and infants practiced book sharing in a highly co-ordinated way, with caregivers carving out interaction units and shaping actions into action arcs and infants actively participating and co-ordinating their attention between mother and object from the beginning. We also (2) sketch a developmental trajectory of book sharing over the first year and show that the quality and dynamics of book sharing interactions underwent considerable change as the ecological situation was transformed in parallel with the infants' development of attention and motor skills. Social book sharing interactions reached an early peak at 6 months with the infants becoming more active in the coordination of attention between caregiver and book. From 7 to 9 months, the infants shifted their interest largely to solitary object exploration, in parallel with newly emerging postural and object manipulation skills, disrupting the social coordination and the cultural frame of book sharing. In the period from 9 to 12 months, social book interactions resurfaced, as infants began to effectively integrate manual object actions within the socially shared activity. In conclusion, to fully understand the development and qualities of triadic cultural activities such as book sharing, we need to look especially at the hitherto overlooked early period from 4 to 6 months, and investigate how shared spaces of meaning and action are structured together in and through interaction, creating the substrate for continuing cooperation and cultural learning.

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          Understanding and sharing intentions: the origins of cultural cognition.

          We propose that the crucial difference between human cognition and that of other species is the ability to participate with others in collaborative activities with shared goals and intentions: shared intentionality. Participation in such activities requires not only especially powerful forms of intention reading and cultural learning, but also a unique motivation to share psychological states with others and unique forms of cognitive representation for doing so. The result of participating in these activities is species-unique forms of cultural cognition and evolution, enabling everything from the creation and use of linguistic symbols to the construction of social norms and individual beliefs to the establishment of social institutions. In support of this proposal we argue and present evidence that great apes (and some children with autism) understand the basics of intentional action, but they still do not participate in activities involving joint intentions and attention (shared intentionality). Human children's skills of shared intentionality develop gradually during the first 14 months of life as two ontogenetic pathways intertwine: (1) the general ape line of understanding others as animate, goal-directed, and intentional agents; and (2) a species-unique motivation to share emotions, experience, and activities with other persons. The developmental outcome is children's ability to construct dialogic cognitive representations, which enable them to participate in earnest in the collectivity that is human cognition.
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            Social Cognition, Joint Attention, and Communicative Competence from 9 to 15 Months of Age

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              Action and embodiment within situated human interaction


                Author and article information

                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                10 December 2014
                : 5
                1Centre for Situated Action and Communication, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth Portsmouth, UK
                2Cognition and Action Lab, Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen's University Kingston, ON, Canada
                Author notes

                Edited by: Ezequiel Alejandro Di Paolo, Ikerbasque - Basque Foundation for Science, Spain

                Reviewed by: Jonathan T. Delafield-Butt, University of Strathclyde, UK; Patricia Zukow-Goldring, University of California, Los Angeles, USA; Kaya De Barbaro, Medical Research Council, UK

                *Correspondence: Nicole Rossmanith and Vasudevi Reddy, Centre for Situated Action and Communication, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, King Henry Building, King Henry 1st Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2DY, UK e-mail: nicole.rossmanith@ ; nicole.rossmanith@ ; vasu.reddy@

                This article was submitted to Cognitive Science, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

                Copyright © 2014 Rossmanith, Costall, Reichelt, López and Reddy.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 12, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 82, Pages: 22, Words: 15879
                Original Research Article


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