News & Events
Graduate student advisee Beren Avci and Honours student Vladimir Poliansky, with our first Behavioral and Neurological correlates of Jealousy study in infants between 3 and 6 months. Beren will defend her thesis about this topic August 19, 2011. Congratulations!
Six-and Nine-month-old infants discriminate between goals despite similar action patterns
A new study developed by Professor Maria Legerstee, at the Centre for Infancy Studies at York University in Toronto, shows that babies as young as six months old can decipher the goals of adults - and can tell if you are teasing or being manipulative. In a Quirks and Quarks CBC radio interview (February, 13, 2010) Heidi Marsh, a PhD student who worked as part of a team on the study reports that three separate experimental games were played with 40 babies, as young as six months old. In each game, using actions and facial expressions, the researcher showed an inability to share a toy, then an unwillingness to share a toy. The babies were able to differentiate between the two goals. In the 'unable' games, they showed patience and attempted to help the researcher. In the 'unwilling' games, the babies showed frustration by averting their stares, frowning or banging their arms. This research showed this awareness in babies at a much earlier age than previously thought.
Funding Source: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to Maria Legerstee
For further reading on the infants’ awareness of goals see Legerstee (Legerstee, M., (2009) The role of dyadic communication in infant social-cognitive development. In: Patricia Bauer, editor: Advances in Child Development and Behavior, Vol 37, The Netherlands: Elsevier, pp. 1-53.
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Related Links : Paper in the journal Infancy
News release from York University
Graduate student advisees Giulia and Mariela, and Honours students, Sasa and Kristina (and Professor Legerstee), attended the Honours’ graduation theses presentation ceremonies April 2010. Kristina’s poster had been ranked the best in the Developmental processes area. Congratulations!
Five honours students graduated successfully, May, 2009. Congratulations. From left to right: Beenish, Magdalena, Aisha, Riffat, and Sagita were supervised by Graduate students Vanessa and Giulia.
February 15, 2009 - Professor Legerstee's work on the onset and development of Jealousy has been featured on National television - see CBC News.
"The roots of Jealousy: Infant behavior expert Maria Legerstee looks at how the green-eyed monster affects babies."
December 11, 4.30pm room 163 Behavioral Sciences Building
Peter Mundy, Ph.D. Professor & Lisa Capps Chair for Neuro-developmental
Disorders and Education
School of Education and Department of Psychiatry and Director of
Educational Research, M.I.N.D. Institute
University of California at Davis
"Neural Connectivity, Joint
Attention and the Social-Cognitive Deficits of Autism".
Models of neural connectivity may provide a basis for unifying genetic and neurodevelopmental models of autism with what we know about social-cognitive impairments and the early cardinal social symptoms of the syndrome. In this regard, this talk will discuss how neural connectivity models of autism are also related to the development of joint attention deficits in autism. In the context of this discussion a new parallel and distributed information processing model of joint attention development will be described. Finally genetic and imaging research will also be reviewed that suggests that activity dependent processes involved functional distal connectivity between frontal and parietal cortical networks may be central to joint attention and the social symptoms of autism.
Recent Media Interviews:
October 24, 2008; New York Public Radio Interview: The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC RADIO
October 23, 2008: The Canadian Press: Babies Feel Jealousy At Three Months
October 22, 2008: CFRB channel 1010 Iain Grant - Jealousy in Babies
October 21, 2008, Andrea Gordon, Family issues reporter, Does jealousy begin in the cradle?
October 20, 2008 – GlobalTV – Jealous Babies – New details are
emerging about the development of jealousy in infants as young as 3 month
Five honours students graduated successfully, May, 2008. 'Congratulations'
York Doctoral student Gabriela Markova is rising star in Infancy http://www.yorku.ca/yfile/archive/index.asp?Article=8863
March, 2005, Professor Legerstee was awarded the 2004-2005 Dean's award for Outstanding Research as an acknowledgement of the academic significance of her research contributions over the last three years. http://www.yorku.ca/yfile/archive/index.asp?Article=5226
2005-2008, Awarded Research Grant “Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada ” entitled: The influence of Social factors on Internal state language and mental state awareness.
Book. (December, 2005 - ISBN: 0521521696).
M. Legerstee, Infants' sense of people: Precursors to a Theory of Mind (Cambridge University Press) http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521818486
Legerstee, M. (in progress), Italian Translation: “ Infants' sense of People” . Professors Antonella Marchetti and Olga Liverta-Sempio, Catholic University of Milano. book-series editors for ‘Psicologia dell'educazione. Sviluppo e processi educative (Raffaello Cortina (Editore).
Legerstee, M. (June 19-23, 2006 ), Colloquium Chair with Vasu Reddy: What does it mean to communicate (with a person)? Paper: Unable and Unwilling interactions with Human and Nonhuman agents: 15 th Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, Kyoto, Japan
Legerstee, M. (December 1-3, 2006 ). Invited speaker “Maternal attunement and infant mental state awareness” Symposium “ The Infant – Attachment, Neurobiology and Genes: A Challenge for Therapy, Counselling and Parenting. On the occasion: Professor T. Berry Brazelton award The Arnold-Lucius-Gesell Prize: Klinik der Universitat Munchen, Kinderklinik und Poliklinik, “Kinderpital” Munchen, Germany