How Imitation Boosts Development: In Infancy and Autism Spectrum Disorder

ISBN : 9780198704003

Jacqueline Nadel; Eleanor Corbett
272 Pages
134 x 215 mm
Pub date
Jul 2014
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It was Plato who famously stated that 'imitation is dangerous because it stifles creativity, hampers the development of personal identity and disrupts the perception of other people as unique beings'. There are some who still feel this way, and perhaps this explains why imitation has received less attention within the developmental literature than other human characteristics. So why are humans able to imitate - from the very second they enter the world? Can it have positive effects? Can it help us interact with others better? Can it even make us feel better about ourselves and our ability to influence and interact with the world around us? In this book, a leading development psychologist explores the topic of imitation - looking at why we imitate and the possible benefits it might bring - in particular to those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. The book offers fascinating insights into an often neglected topic.


List of illustrations
1. Introduction: Imitation: the black sheep in the study of development
2. A little reminder
3. What imitation means
4. Imitation and development
5. What is imitation for?
6. What imitation can do for the infant
7. What can imitation do for children with autism?
8. The toolbox of imitation
9. Evaluating imitation in autism
10. Imitation - the overseer of development
11. Conclusion: Imitation: a contribution to an individual history of actions

About the author: 

Jacqueline Nadel, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France

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