Written by Hanako YOSHIDA, Joseph M. BURLING on . Posted in Special issue: Embodiment And Development, Guest Editors: Josita MAOUENE, Thea IONESCU, Volume XV, Nr. 4


Over the years observational studies have made great progress in characterizing children’s visual experiences and their sensitivity to social cues and their role in language development. Recent technological advancements have allowed researchers to study these issues from the child’s perspective, leading to a new understanding of the dynamic involvement of bodily events. A number of recent studies have suggested that bodily actions play an important role in perception and that social partners' bodily actions may become synchronized. In the present perspective paper, we will provide a new perspective on how children’s own views are generated individually and play a dynamic role in learning. By doing so, we first discuss the role of early social input in language learning as it has been treated in the literature and then introduce recent studies in which typically developing hearing children, deaf children of deaf families, and children with autism were observed in a social context using the new child-centered technology. The hypothesis of a link between sensorimotor experiences and embodied attention — specifically how different bodies produce different kinds of attention — will be discussed. Understanding the role of bodily events (the child’s and the child’s social partners’) in early visual experiences will provide insight into the development of learning mechanisms and the processes involved in learning disabilities.

KEYWORDS: embodied attention, social interaction, child-centered perspective

PAGES: 535-552