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Variability in the early development of visual self-recognition

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2004
<mark>Journal</mark>Infant Behavior and Development
Issue number4
Volume27
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)509-532
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

A study was conducted to evaluate the (1) developmental course and (2) the temporal sequencing of visual (mirror, photo) and verbal (personal pronoun use) measures of self-recognition as well as the ability to locate a toy from its mirror image in relation to the child's own mirror image. A microgenetic approach was adopted to assess 10 toddlers biweekly between 15 and 23 months of age and for comparison, a cross-section of children tested once across the same age range. Longitudinal data indicated that visual self-recognition emerged gradually and showed wide variability in expression prior to becoming stable, a finding masked in the cross-sectional data where performance appeared to improve abruptly. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal data confirmed that mirror self-recognition was the earliest precursor of the indices of self-recognition to emerge followed by the use of personal pronouns and photo identification. Implications for the emergence and integration of the self are discussed. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.