When the other's responses are unpredictable; why does the baby still pay attention to the interaction?

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


In a study on young infants’ susceptibility to synchronic behaviours in dyadic interactions with others the children’s responses indicated tolerance in their interpretation of the situation. When 6 months old infants encountered a communicative other who did not match to the infants’ communicative behaviours the young infants nevertheless remained focused on the interaction. Moreover, the infants made efforts to intervene and take action in the communicative event.

An increasing number of studies support the assumption that dyadic, dynamic and mutual interactions can be traced in communicative and affective relations between caregivers and infants from early infancy (Beebe et al 1985, Bråthen 2009, Stern 1985, Rochat 2009, Trevarthen & Murray 1985). According to Murray and Trevarthen (1985) already 6 -12 weeks old infants detect and respond to structural features in the caretaker’s behaviour in such a way that the caretaker, in its turn, is evoked to respond with a matching behaviour. When the infants are between 2-4 months old stable sequences characterize parent-infant face-to-face dyads (Levelli & Fogel 2002). Together, the studies indicate that at the age of 6 months children can be expected to have expectations on the behaviour of the other in communication games. Further, these expectations influence the child’s participation and understanding of the event.

When studying semiotic development in young children not only developmental aspects of growing children should be examined but also the means by which children encounter meaning and communication. In my presentation, the dyadic interaction in our study will be analysed in respect of the dynamic potentialities that are framed in communication games with young infants.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventThe 9th conference of Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies -
Duration: 1980-Jan-01 → …


ConferenceThe 9th conference of Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies
Period80-01-01 → …

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  • Other Humanities (605)


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