It takes time and experience to learn how to interpret gaze in mentalistic terms

Leavens, David A (2006) It takes time and experience to learn how to interpret gaze in mentalistic terms. Infant and Child Development, 15 (2). pp. 187-190. ISSN 1522-7227

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Abstract

What capabilities are required for an organism to evince an 'explicit' understanding of gaze as a mentalistic phenomenon? One possibility is that mentalistic interpretations of gaze, like concepts of unseen, supernatural beings, are culturally-specific concepts, acquired through cultural learning. These abstract concepts may either require a shared, symbolic code for intergenerational transmission and therefore be uniquely human cognitive phenomena (like belief in Santa Claus) or, alternatively, language may only facilitate their acquisition. Thus, the possibility remains that other organisms can acquire these mentalistic conceptions of gaze, perhaps over much longer time courses, compared to humans, which would limit to very long-lived species the possibility of acquiring these abstract concepts. -Invited commentary on Doherty (2006)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Commentary on Doherty (2006)
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: David Leavens
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:48
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 13:10
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14518
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