Do Infants Have an Innate Ability to Recognize the Human Face and Imitate Facial Expressions?
The debate over whether or not infants are born with innate knowledge has been a long one. Nativist philosophers such as Kant (1781/1958) and Descartes (1638/1965) believed that certain abilities and understandings about the world were innate, whereas Empiricist William James (1890) believed, infants were a tabula rasa (blank slate) upon which information is "written". Even today the debate over whether or not infants are born with innate abilities has not been resolved, but by looking at research conducted into imitation with neonates Meltzoff and Moore (1977, 1983) and by considering possible functions of imitation is it possible to draw some conclusions. Similarly, it is not known whether or not infants recognise the human face innately or if it is knowledge acquired over time. Morton and Johnson suggest infants may be born with CONSPEC a mechanism which enables them to learn, and recognise their mothers by, external features.…
- Do Infants Have an Innate Ability to Recognize the Human Face and Imitate Facial Expressions?
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