Some research argues that babies copy adult tongue poking and mouth opening. However, there are individual differences with some babies more likely to copy than others, but we don’t know why. It has been argued that the experience of being imitated provides learning opportunities that may be vital to the development of the ability to imitate. Specifically, newborns may develop this skill by interacting with their parents.
In order to test this idea, I conducted a study where parents either practiced tongue poking, mouth opening or hand movements with their baby for two weeks. We also had a comparison group of parents and babies who didn’t do any practice. To see if different types of interaction had an effect, we measured newborns imitation responses before and after this training.
– I hope to share my findings soon –