Publicaciones de la comunidad de investigación

Uno de los objetivos de Mangold International es difundir el conocimiento acerca de los estudios sobre el comportamiento entre la comunidad investigadora. Por eso hemos creado esta plataforma que permite a los investigadores publicar sus resultados, obtenidos con el software y sistema de soluciones de Mangold.

Estudios sobre adultos, niños e infancia

Observing prosociality and talent: the emotional characteristics and behavioral outcomes of elevation and admiration in 6.5- to 8-year-old children

Authors: Gibhardt, S., Hepach, R., & Henderson, A. M. E. (2024)


Seeing others getting the help they need and deserve elicits positive emotions in young children (Hepach et al., 2012; Hepach & Tomasello, 2020). However, it remains unclear whether the positive emotions elicited are an indicator of the moral emotion of elevation which has been shown to be a distinct emotion that leads to increased prosocial behaviour in adults (Cox, 2010; Haidt, 2000, 2003; Schnall et al., 2010). Here we examined the specific emotional characteristics and behavioural outcomes of two closely related other-praising moral emotions: elevation and admiration. We exposed 182 6.5- to 8.5-year-old children being raised in Aotearoa, New Zealand, to an elevation- and admiration-inducing video clip. Afterwards children’s emotion experiences and prosocial behaviour was measured. Findings revealed higher levels of happiness, care and warmth in the elevation condition and higher levels of upliftment in the admiration condition. Perhaps surprisingly, findings revealed no differences in prosocial behaviour between the elevation and admiration conditions. This is the first study to assess elevation in childhood and offers a novel paradigm to investigate the role of moral emotions as potential motivators underlying helping.

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Why things can go wrong when parents try to help children with their homework: The role of parental emotion regulation and mentalization.

Authors: Cohen, R., Gershy, N., & Davidov, M. (2024)


Parents’ involvement in homework can enhance children’s self-efficacy, self-regulation, and autonomous motivation for learning. Regrettably, in practice, parental involvement often contains intrusive, controlling, and discouraging behaviors that can curtail benefits. The present study sought to identify parenting characteristics that may contribute to counterproductive parental homework involvement. Two central mechanisms were examined: parental emotion dysregulation and low parental mentalization. We hypothesized that difficulties regulating negative affect would contribute to negative and hostile parental behavior during homework (but not to controlling behavior), whereas difficulties in parental mentalization would contribute to increased controlling parental practices (but not to parental negativity). The sample included 101 Israeli parents and their elementary school children (M = 8.32, SD = 1.77, 51.5% girls). Parent–child interaction during homework was videotaped at a home visit and subsequently coded to reflect the levels of control and negativity shown by the parent. Parental emotion dysregulation was assessed using a self-report questionnaire (the difficulties in emotion regulation scale), and parental capacity for mentalization was coded from interviews using the reflective functioning manual. Consistent with hypotheses, parental mentalization difficulties were linked to increased parental control, whereas parental emotion dysregulation was linked to parental negativity. These associations persisted even after controlling for children’s externalizing problems and children’s homework performance, as reported by parents. The findings highlight the differential paths by which parents’ diminished emotion regulation and decreased mentalization can foster counterproductive involvement in their children’s homework. We discuss the implications of the findings for parents’ homework involvement and teachers’ support of positive parental involvement. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved)

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Parent attention-orienting behavior is associated with neural entropy in infancy

Authors: Williams,C.L.,Belkowitz,A.R.,Nance,M.G.,Mortman,E.T.,Bae,S.,Ahmed,S.‐B.,& Puglia,M.H.(2024)


Parents use joint attention to direct infants to environmental stimuli. We hypothesized that infants whose parents provide more bids for joint attention will display a more complex neural response when viewing social scenes. Sixty-one 8-month-old infants underwent electroencephalography (EEG) while viewing videos of joint- and parallel-play and participated in a free play interaction. EEG data was analyzed using multiscale entropy, which quantifies neural variability. Free play interactions assessed parent alternating gaze, a behavioral mechanism for directing attention to environmental cues. We found a significant positive association between parent alternating gaze and neural entropy in frontal and central regions. These results suggest a relationship between parent behavior and infant neural mechanisms that regulate social attention, underlying the importance of parental cues in forming neural networks. 

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Behavioral Voluntary and Social Bioassays Enabling Identification of Complex and Sex-Dependent Pain-(-Related) Phenotypes in Rats with Bone Cancer

Authors: Segelcke D, Linnemann J, Pradier B, Kronenberg D, Stange R, Richter SH, Görlich D, Baldini N, Di Pompo G, Verri WA Jr., et al. (2023)


Cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) is a common and devastating symptom with limited treatment options in patients, significantly affecting their quality of life. The use of rodent models is the most common approach to uncovering the mechanisms underlying CIBP; however, the translation of results to the clinic may be hindered because the assessment of pain-related behavior is often based exclusively on reflexive-based methods, which are only partially indicative of relevant pain in patients. To improve the accuracy and strength of the preclinical, experimental model of CIBP in rodents, we used a battery of multimodal behavioral tests that were also aimed at identifying rodent-specific behavioral components by using a home-cage monitoring assay (HCM). Rats of all sexes received an injection with either heat-deactivated (sham-group) or potent mammary gland carcinoma Walker 256 cells into the tibia. By integrating multimodal datasets, we assessed pain-related behavioral trajectories of the CIBP-phenotype, including evoked and non-evoked based assays and HCM. Using principal component analysis (PCA), we discovered sex-specific differences in establishing the CIBP-phenotype, which occurred earlier (and differently) in males. Additionally, HCM phenotyping revealed the occurrence of sensory-affective states manifested by mechanical hypersensitivity in sham when housed with a tumor-bearing cagemate (CIBP) of the same sex. This multimodal battery allows for an in-depth characterization of the CIBP-phenotype under social aspects in rats. The detailed, sex-specific, and rat-specific social phenotyping of CIBP enabled by PCA provides the basis for mechanism-driven studies to ensure robustness and generalizability of results and provide information for targeted drug development in the future.

Keywords: bone cancer; pain; home cage; rodent-specific behavior

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Prospective controlled study on the effects of deep brain stimulation on driving in Parkinson’s disease

Authors: Fründt, O., Mainka, T., Vettorazzi, E. et al. (2023)


To explore the influence of bilateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on car driving ability in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), we prospectively examined two age-matched, actively driving PD patient groups: one group undergone DBS-surgery (PD-DBS, n = 23) and one group that was eligible for DBS but did not undergo surgery (PD-nDBS, n = 29). In PD-DBS patients, investigation at Baseline was done just prior and at Follow-up 6–12 month after DBS-surgery. In PD-nDBS patients, time interval between Baseline and Follow-up was aimed to be comparable. To assess the general PD driving level, driving was assessed once in 33 age-matched healthy controls at Baseline. As results, clinical and driving characteristics of PD-DBS, PD-nDBS and controls did not differ at Baseline. At Follow-up, PD-DBS patients drove unsafer than PD-nDBS patients. This effect was strongly driven by two single PD-DBS participants (9%) with poor Baseline and disastrous Follow-up driving performance. Retrospectively, we could not identify any of the assessed motor and non-motor clinical Baseline characteristics as predictive for this driving-deterioration at Follow-up. Excluding these two outliers, comparable driving performance between PD-DBS and PD-nDBS patients not only at Baseline but also at Follow-up was demonstrated. Age, disease duration and severity as well as Baseline driving insecurity were associated with poorer driving performance at Follow-up. This first prospective study on driving safety in PD after DBS surgery indicates that DBS usually does not alter driving safety but might increase the risk for driving deterioration, especially in single subjects with already unsafe driving prior to DBS surgery.

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Cross-cultural differences in visual object and background processing in the infant brain 

Authors: Köster M., Bánki A., Yamasaki D., Kato M., Itakura S., Hoehl S. (2023)


Human visual cognition differs profoundly between cultures. A key finding is that visual processing is tuned toward focal elements of a visual scene in Western cultures (US and Europe) and toward the background in Eastern cultures (Asia). Although some evidence for cultural differences exists for young children, to date, the ontogenetic origins of cultural differences in human visual cognition have not been unveiled. This study explores early cross-cultural differences in human visual processing, by tracking the neural signatures for object versus background elements of a visual scene in the electroencephalogram (EEG) of 12-month-old infants, in Vienna (Austria; a Western culture; n = 35) and Kyoto (Japan; an Eastern culture; n = 36). Specifically, we separated neural signatures by presenting object and background at different stimulation frequencies (5.67 and 8.5 Hz). Results show that human visual processing is different between cultures from early on. We found that infants from Vienna showed a higher object signal, in contrast to infants from Kyoto, who showed an accentuated background signal. This early emergence of cultural differences in human vision may be explained in part by early social experiences: In a separate interaction phase, mothers from Vienna pointed out object (versus background) elements more often than mothers from Kyoto. To conclude, with a cross-cultural developmental neuroscience approach, we reveal that cross-cultural differences in visual processing of object and background are already present in the first year after birth, which is much earlier than previously thought.

Keywords: visual system development, infant cognition, frequency tagging, cross-cultural comparison, social learning

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A new online paradigm to measure spontaneous pointing in infants and caregivers

Authors: Kaletsch K., Liszkowski U. (2024)


Index-finger pointing is a milestone in the development of referential communication. Previous research has investigated infants’ pointing with a variety of paradigms ranging from parent reports to field observations to experimental settings, suggesting that lab-based semi-natural interactional settings seem especially suited to elicit and measure infant pointing. With the Covid-pandemic the need for a comparable online tool became evident enabling also efficient, low-cost, large-scale, diverse data collection. The current study introduces a remote online paradigm, based on the established live ‘decorated-room’ paradigm. In Experiment 1, 12-months old infants and their caregivers (N = 24) looked at digitally presented stimuli together while being recorded with their webcam. We coded pointing gestures of infants and caregivers as well as caregivers’ responses to infants’ pointing. In Experiment 2 (N = 47), we optimized stimuli and investigated influences of stimulus characteristics. We systematically varied the style of depiction, stimulus complexity, motion, and facial stimuli. Main findings were that infants and caregivers pointed spontaneously, with mean behaviors ranging within the benchmarks of previously reported findings of the live decorated-room paradigm. Further, the social setting was preserved as revealed by significant relations between parents’ responsive points and infants’ pointing frequency. Analyses of stimuli characteristics revealed that infants pointed more to stimuli depicting faces than to other stimuli. The new remote online paradigm proves a useful addition to established paradigms. It offers novel opportunities for simplified assessments, large-scale sampling, and worldwide, diversified data collection.
Keywords: Pointing; Online data collection; Decorated-room; Responsiveness 

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Mother-infant social gaze dynamics relate to infant brain activity and word segmentation

Authors: Vanoncini M., Hoehl S., Elsner B., Wallot S., Boll-Avetisyan N., Kayhan E. (2024)


The ‘social brain’, consisting of areas sensitive to social information, supposedly gates the mechanisms involved in human language learning. Early preverbal interactions are guided by ostensive signals, such as gaze patterns, which are coordinated across body, brain, and environment. However, little is known about how the infant brain processes social gaze in naturalistic interactions and how this relates to infant language development. During free-play of 9-month-olds with their mothers, we recorded hemodynamic cortical activity of ´social brain` areas (prefrontal cortex, temporo-parietal junctions) via fNIRS, and micro-coded mother’s and infant’s social gaze. Infants’ speech processing was assessed with a word segmentation task. Using joint recurrence quantification analysis, we examined the connection between infants’ ´social brain` activity and the temporal dynamics of social gaze at intrapersonal (i.e., infant’s coordination, maternal coordination) and interpersonal (i.e., dyadic coupling) levels. Regression modeling revealed that intrapersonal dynamics in maternal social gaze (but not infant’s coordination or dyadic coupling) coordinated significantly with infant’s cortical activity. Moreover, recurrence quantification analysis revealed that intrapersonal maternal social gaze dynamics (in terms of entropy) were the best predictor of infants’ word segmentation. The findings support the importance of social interaction in language development, particularly highlighting maternal social gaze dynamics.

Keywords: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy; Infant word segmentation; Social gaze; Mother-infant interactions; Entropy; Recurrence quantification analysis 

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Sleep-dependent memory consolidation of televised content in infants 

Authors: Hermesch, N., Konrad, C., Barr, R.,Herbert, J. S., & Seehagen, S. (2023)


Infants face the constant challenge of selecting information for encoding and storage from a continuous incoming stream of data. Sleep might help in this process by selectively consolidating new memory traces that are likely to be of future relevance. Using a deferred imitation paradigm and an experimental design, we asked whether 15- and 24-month-old infants (N = 105) who slept soon after encoding a televised demonstration of target actions would show higher imitation scores (retention) after a 24-h delay than same-aged infants who stayed awake for ≥4 h after encoding. In light of infants’ well-known difficulties in learning and remembering information from screens, we tested if increasing the relevance of the televised content via standardised caregiver verbalisations might yield the highest imitation scores in the sleep condition. Regardless of sleep condition, 24-month-olds exhibited retention of target actions while 15-month-olds consistently failed to do so. For 24-month-olds, temporal recall was facilitated by sleep, but not by parental verbalisations. Correlational analyses revealed that more time asleep within 4 h after encoding was associated with better retention of the target actions and their temporal order in 24-months-olds. These results suggest that sleep facilitates memory consolidation of screen-based content in late infancy and that this effect might not hinge on caregivers’ verbal engagement during viewing.

Keywords: infants, scaffolding, screen media, sleep-dependent memory consolidation, transfer deficit

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Preterm toddlers’ joint attention characteristics during dyadic interactions with their mothers and fathers compared to full-term toddlers at age 2 years

Authors: Ataman-Devrim M., Quigley J., Nixon E. (2024)


The current study investigates Joint Attention (JA) characteristics (duration, frequency, source of initiation, type of JA, agent of termination, missed and unsuccessful episodes) in preterm and full-term toddlers’ interactions with their mothers and fathers, separately. Thirty-one singleton full-term (Mage = 24.07 months, SD = 1.45; 13 boys) and 17 singleton preterm toddlers (Madjustedage = 24.72 months, SD = 3.39; 12 boys) participated in the study with both parents. JA episodes were examined during dyadic five-minute free play sessions, were coded second-by-second, and were analysed using two-way mixed ANOVAs. Although the total amount of time spent in JA was not significantly different between the preterm and the full-term groups, JA episodes were more frequent, specifically supported JA episodes, and were more often terminated by the child during parent-preterm toddler interactions. Moreover, preterm toddlers missed their fathers’ attempts for JA more often than their mothers’ and more often than full-term toddlers missed their fathers’ and mothers’ bids for JA. Further, regardless of the birth status, toddlers initiated more JA with mothers than fathers, and fathers redirected their child’s attention to initiate JA more than mothers. Findings indicate that preterm toddlers may struggle to respond to JA bids, especially with their fathers, and to sustain their attention on a specific object or event during interactions. Preterm toddlers may need more support to engage in JA relative to their full-term peers, and redirecting attention strategy may not be optimal for them. Also, toddlers’ JA interactions may be different with their mothers and fathers. Findings contribute to the literature by demonstrating preterm toddlers’ JA characteristics with both parents compared to full-term toddlers at age two.

Keywords: Preterm; Joint attention; Interactions; Fathers; Mothers; Toddlers 

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Parent empathy and adolescent disclosure in the context of type 1 diabetes management

Authors: Main, A., Wiebe, D. J., Miramontes, M., Disla, J., Hanes, E., Cakan, N., & Raymond, J. K. (2024)


Adolescent disclosure to parents is a key aspect of positive parent-adolescent relationships and youth adjustment. We leveraged a study of diverse families with an adolescent with type 1 diabetes to examine how observed parental empathy during parent-adolescent conflict discussions about diabetes management was associated with observed adolescent disclosure and adolescent self-reported disclosure to parents. Adolescents with type 1 diabetes and the parent most involved in their diabetes care (N = 67 dyads) participated in the study. Parent empathy, adolescent disclosure, and parent positive affect during parent-adolescent conversations were rated by trained coders. Parents reported on their own empathy and adolescents reported on their own disclosure, parental knowledge of their diabetes management, and parental acceptance. Results indicated that observed parental empathy was associated with both observed and self-reported disclosure. This association remained after covarying other parent-adolescent relationship and parent dispositional, demographic, and diabetes variables. This study holds implications for promoting greater parental communication of empathy to encourage adolescent disclosure in the context of chronic illness management. 

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Popularity at first sight: Dominant behaviours mediate the link between extraversion and popularity in face-to-face and virtual group interactions

Authors: Buss, Martje & Wagner, Jenny & Bleckmann, Eva & Wieczorek, Larissa. (2024)


Although there is robust evidence that being more extraverted is related to higher popularity, only few studies have examined which actual behaviours (e.g., verbal content, body language) might explain this association. The current study examined whether observer‐rated dominant behaviours (nonverbal, paraverbal, verbal, and general cues) mediate the relationship between self‐rated extraversion and its facets (assertiveness, sociability, and activity) and other‐rated popularity in zero‐acquaintance settings. In two studies, we analysed data from face‐to‐face (Study 1, N = 124) and virtual (Study 2, N = 291) group interactions where participants were videotaped while performing a task and subsequently rated each other on popularity. Across studies, extraversion and the facets assertiveness and sociability were consistently associated with higher popularity, while the role of dominant behaviours differed. In Study 1, only two nonverbal behaviours, dominant gestures and upright posture, mediated the association between extraversion and popularity. In Study 2, all four types of behavioural cues mediated the association between extraversion (facets) and popularity. We discuss how these findings provide insights into the mechanisms of attaining popularity at zero acquaintance in diverse social settings.

Keywords: dominance, extraversion, interpersonal perceptions, popularity, social behaviors

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Maternal contingent responses to distress facilitate infant soothing but not in mothers with depression or infants high in negative affect

Authors: de Barbaro, Kaya & Khante, Priyanka & Maier, Meeka & Goodman, Sherryl. (2023)


Depression in mothers is consistently associated with reduced caregiving sensitivity and greater infant negative affect expression. The current article examined the real-time behavioral mechanisms underlying these associations using Granger causality time series analyses in a sample of mothers (N = 194; 86.60% White) at elevated risk for depression and their 3-month-old infants (46.40% female) living in a major metropolitan area in the United States. Overall, mothers contingently responded to infant distress, and mothers' responses to infant distress increased the likelihood of infant soothing in real time. However, there was no evidence for maternal contingent responding or facilitation of infant soothing in subsamples of mothers who were currently experiencing elevated depression symptoms or in mothers of highly negative infants. These findings suggest real-time behavioral mechanisms by which risks for maladaptive self-regulation may develop. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

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Shyness, social engagement, and conversational response times in children’s dyadic interactions with an unfamiliar peer

Authors: Wilson, M. L., Powell, A. R., Hernandez, L. S., Green, E., Labahn, C., & Henderson, H. (2024)


To be a desirable social partner and develop healthy relationships with peers, a child must be able to engage with peers across a variety of contexts. Understanding the factors supporting high levels of social engagement with peers is thereby essential, requiring the development of nuanced and ecologically valid indices of social engagement. Building on recent adult work, the current study explores conversational response time as a novel index of children’s social engagement with peers in a dyadic context. This study further explores relationship between conversational response time and children’s shyness. Fifty-six 9- to 11-year-old children interacted with an unfamiliar peer in an unstructured setting and completed a self-report measure of shyness. Children’s behaviour was coded for their conversational RTs and overall social engagement. Faster conversational RTs were significantly related to children’s own social engagement and marginally related to their partners’ engagement. Moreover, higher shyness in children’s partners predicted faster conversational RTs in children themselves. New directions for using conversational RT as an index of children’s social engagement and implications for accounts children’s social development are discussed.

Keywords: communication, conversational response time, shyness, social engagement

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Sharing and Receiving Eye-Contact Predicts Mate Choice After a 5-Minute Conversation: Evidence from a Speed-Dating Study 

Authors: Hoffmann, A., Schiestl, S., Sinske, P. et al. (2024)


In popular narratives, the first date with a potential mate often centers on their gaze as embodiment of interest and attraction. However, evidence is still lacking on the role of eye-contact as a potent signal in human social interaction in the context of dating. In addition, behavioral mechanisms of mate selection are not well understood. In the present study, we therefore examined mutual eye-contact and its influence on mate choice by applying dual mobile eye-tracking during naturalistic speed-dates. A total of 30 male and 30 female subjects attended four speed-dates each (N = 240). Subjects were more likely to choose those dating partners with whom they shared more eye-contact with. In addition, perceived attractiveness played an important role for mate choice. Interestingly, receiving but not giving eye-contact also predicted individual mate choice. Eye-contact thus acts as an important signal of romantic attraction when encountering a dating partner.

Keywords: Speed-dating, mutual eye-contact, dual mobile eye-tracking, human mate selection, face-to-face interaction

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Active Listening in Integrative Negotiation

Authors: Jäckel, E., Zerres, A., & Hüffmeier, J. (2024)


Active listening is a promising communication technique to positively affect interactions and communication outcomes. However, theoretical propositions regarding its direct effects on interactions have rarely been empirically investigated. In the present research, we studied the role of naturally occurring active listening in the context of videotaped and coded integrative negotiations. Lag sequential analyses of 48 negotiations with 17,120 thought units show that active listening follows offers that comprise two or more issues (i.e., multi-issue offers) above chance level. These multi-issue offer—active listening patterns in turn promoted integrative statements (e.g., further multi-issue offers) and inhibited distributive statements (e.g., single-issue offers). Moreover, multi-issue offer—active listening patterns (and neither multi-issue offers nor active listening alone) also positively related to the achieved joint economic outcomes in the negotiation. Contrary to common expectations, we did not find evidence that active listening promotes the understanding of the other party or rapport between negotiators.

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Attention control in preterm and term 5-month-old infants: Cross-task stability increases with gestational age 

Authors: Perra, O., Winstanley, A., Sperotto, R., & Gattis, M. (2024)


Cross-task stability refers to performance consistency across different settings and measures of the same construct. Cross-task stability can help us understand developmental  processes, including how risks such as preterm birth affect outcomes. We investigated cross-task stability of attention control in 32 preterm and 39 term infants. All infants had the same chronological age at time of testing (5 months) but varied in gestational age (GA) at birth (30–42 weeks). Infants completed an experimental attention following task with a researcher and a naturalistic play observation with their mothers. Both preterm and term infants demonstrated attention following in the experimental task. GA and flexibility of attention were related: the likelihood of no turn trials decreased with increasing GA. To evaluate cross-task stability, we compared attention performance in the experimental and naturalistic settings. Flexible attention shifts on the experimental task were positively related to attention to objects in the naturalistic observation. Furthermore, the association between flexible attention shifts on the experimental task and attention to objects in the naturalistic observation was moderated by GA. Our study provides initial evidence that the consolidation of attention control increases with GA. These findings highlight the value of comparing experimental and observational measures of attention.

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The breadth and specificity of 18-month-old’s infant-initiated interactions in naturalistic home settings

Authors: Karadağ D., Bazhydai M., Koşkulu-Sancar S., Şen H. H. (2024)


Infants actively initiate social interactions aiming to elicit different types of responses from other people. This study aimed to document a variety of communicative interactions initiated by 18-month-old Turkish infants from diverse SES (N = 43) with their caregivers in their natural home settings. The infant-initiated interactions such as use of deictic gestures (e.g., pointing, holdouts), action demonstrations, vocalizations, and non-specific play actions were coded from video recordings and classified into two categories as need-based and non-need-based. Need-based interactions were further classified as a) biological (e.g., feeding); b) socio-emotional (e.g., cuddling), and non-need-based interactions (i.e., communicative intentions) were coded as a) expressive, b) requestive; c) information/help-seeking; d) information-giving. Infant-initiated non-need-based (88%) interactions were more prevalent compared to need-based interactions (12%). Among the non-need-based interactions, 50% aimed at expressing or sharing attention or emotion, 26% aimed at requesting an object or an action, and 12% aimed at seeking information or help. Infant-initiated information-giving events were rare. We further investigated the effects of familial SES and infant sex, finding no effect of either on the number of infant-initiated interactions. These findings suggest that at 18 months, infants actively communicate with their social partners to fulfil their need-based and non-need-based motivations using a wide range of verbal and nonverbal behaviors, regardless of their sex and socio-economic background. This study thoroughly characterizes a wide and detailed range of infant-initiated spontaneous communicative bids in hard-to-access contexts (infants’ daily lives at home) and with a traditionally underrepresented non-WEIRD population.

Keywords: Infant-caregiver interactions; Communication; Infant-initiated interactions; Communicative intentions 

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Neural correlates involved in perspective-taking in early childhood

Authors: Meyer M., Brezack N., Woodward A.L. (2024)


Learning to consider another person’s perspective is pivotal in early social development. Still, little is known about the neural underpinnings involved in perspective-taking in early childhood. In this EEG study, we examined 4-year-old children’s brain activity during a live, social interaction that involved perspective-taking. Children were asked to pass one of two toys to another person. To decide which toy to pass, they had to consider either their partner’s perspective (perspective-taking) or visual features unrelated to their partner’s perspective (control). We analyzed power changes in midfrontal and temporal-parietal EEG channels. The results indicated that children showed higher power around 7 Hz at right temporal-parietal channels for perspective-taking compared to control trials. This power difference was positively correlated with children’s perspective-taking performance, specifically for trials in which they needed to pass the toy their partner could not see. A similar power difference at right temporal-parietal channels was seen when comparing perspective-taking trials where children’s visual access mismatched rather than matched that of their partner. No differences were detected for midfrontal channels. In sum, we identified distinct neural activity as 4-year-olds considered another person’s perspective in a live interaction; this activity converges with neural findings of adults’ social processing network.

Keywords: Perspective-taking; Young children; EEG; Theta power; Temporal-parietal brain activity

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Caregiver encouragement to act on objects is related with crawling infants' receptive language

Authors: Lopez, L. D., & Walle, E. A. (2024)


The progression from crawling to walking in infancy is associated with changes in infant language development. One possible explanation for such change is the infant's language environment. Prior research indicates that caregivers use more action directives with walking infants compared to crawling infants, but the relations of such parental speech with infant vocabulary is unknown. Here, we present findings from day‐long home audio recordings (Study 1) and laboratory observations (Study 2) of same‐aged crawling and walking infants to explore how caregiver language, specifically action directives, were associated with parent reported infant vocabulary size. Findings in both studies indicated that caregiver action directives were associated with crawling, but not walking infants' receptive vocabulary sizes. Specifically, action directives about objects occurring when the infant and caregiver were not jointly engaged were associated with higher receptive vocabulary scores for crawling infants, but no such pattern was found for walking infants. The replication of results in distinct samples with different research methodologies strengthens the findings. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that caregiver social engagement specific to infant motoric development is related with infant language learning.

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2‐Year‐olds’ free play during the COVID‐19 pandemic

Authors: Tisborn, K., & Seehagen, S. (2024)


Free play is a natural activity in toddlerhood, depending on environmental conditions like available objectsand the social environment. The COVID‐19 pandemicand its consequences for parents’ mental health held the potential to change toddlers’ play environment. This cross‐sectional study investigated 2‐year‐olds’(N = 97) free play with objects, and aspects of caregiver mental well‐being in three cohorts during the pandemic in Germany. Caregivers reported their positive mental health (PMH), threat perception, perception of current family situation from negative to positive, and workload. We categorized toddlers’ behavior in free play sessions in their homes with a fixed set of objects through behavioral coding. Play behavior did not differ between cohorts and did not correlate with caregivers’ positive mental health, threat perception, and perception of family situation. A MANOVA revealed a significant main effect of cohort on PMH, threat perception and perception of family situation, qualified by two discriminant functions. Fullsample analyses revealed that toddlers of caregiversperceiving a workload increase compared to the time before the pandemic showed less pretend play, and less functional and nonfunctional play. The results provide insights into 2‐year‐olds’ play behavior during a global pandemic and highlight the role of caregiver availability for children’s play.

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Proactive verbal behavior in team meetings: effects of supportive and critical responses on satisfaction and performance

Authors: Berg, AK., Kauffeld, S. (2024) 


Proactivity has rarely been considered as a subject of investigation in social settings, such as team meetings. In this study, we investigate proactive behavior during meetings and examine how reactions to proactive behavior impact work-related outcomes. Drawing on meeting science and the wise proactivity framework, we hypothesized that supportive and critical patterns would emerge in response to proactive behavior. We also tested whether these patterns influenced team meeting satisfaction and team performance. We video recorded team meetings involving 252 participants in 43 teams and conducted micro-interaction coding of verbal behavior. Lag sequential analyses revealed that proactive verbal behavior followed by supportive responses occurred above chance. Team-level regression analyses showed that these patterns predicted meeting satisfaction and team performance. Notably, proactive-support patterns indirectly predicted team performance through increased meeting satisfaction. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of proactive verbal behavior in teams and supportive reactions as antecedents to positive outcomes.

Keywords: Proactivity, social support, team performance, verbal meeting behavior, lag sequential analysis, meetings

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Social niche shapes social behavior and cortisol concentrations during adolescence in female guinea pigs

Authors: Rystrom T.L., Richter S.H., Sachser N., Kaiser S. (2024)


Individualized social niches arise in social groups, resulting in divergent social behavior profiles among group members. During sensitive life phases, the individualized social niche can profoundly impact the development of social behavior and associated phenotypes such as hormone (e.g. cortisol) concentrations. Focusing on adolescence, we investigated the relationship between the individualized social niche, social behavior, and cortisol concentrations (baseline and responsiveness) in female guinea pigs. Females were pair-housed in early adolescence (initial social pair formation), and a social niche transition was induced after six weeks by replacing the partner with either a larger or smaller female. Regarding social behavior, dominance status was associated with aggression in both the initial social pairs and after the social niche transition, and the results suggest that aggression was rapidly and completely reshaped after the social niche transition. Meanwhile, submissive behavior was rapidly reshaped after the social niche transition, but this was incomplete. The dominance status attained in the initial social pair affected the extent of submissive behavior after the social niche transition, and this effect was still detected three weeks after the social niche transition. Regarding cortisol concentrations, higher baseline cortisol concentrations were measured in dominant females in the initial social pairs. After the social niche transition, cortisol responsiveness significantly increased for the females paired with a larger, older female relative to those paired with a smaller, younger female. These findings demonstrate that the social niche during adolescence plays a significant role in shaping behavior and hormone concentrations in females.

Keywords: Social status; Individual variation; Cortisol reactivity; Phenotypic plasticity; Social environment; Individualized niche; Endocrine flexibility; Niche specialization; Stress response 

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Empowering Hong Kong Chinese families with autism: A preliminary study of the online Hanen More Than Words Program

Authors: Qi X., Zhao Q., To C. K. S. (2024)

Purpose Parent involvement is crucial for tailored early intervention programs. The Hanen More Than Words (HMTW) program is a parent-implemented language intervention for autistic children. The current study examined the effectiveness of the HMTW program delivered online among Chinese families.

Methods Using a randomized controlled trial design, 22 Chinese families of autistic children in Hong Kong completed the trial. Baseline and post-intervention assessments were conducted to measure changes in parent-child interaction, parents’ use of linguistic facilitation techniques (LFTs), and children's communication skills. Additionally, the influence of parental self-efficacy and parenting stress on treatment outcomes was explored.

Results The intervention group demonstrated significant improvements in parent-child attention synchrony. Although the treatment effect on children's spontaneous communication was not significant, the intervention group showed a larger effect size compared to the controls. The treatment outcomes were mainly influenced by the parents’ initial levels of self-efficacy but not by parenting stress.

Conclusion These findings provide preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of the online-delivered HMTW program for Chinese parents of autistic children. Further research involving a larger sample and focusing on long-term effects is needed.

Keywords: Hanen More Than Words, autism, parent-implemented intervention, telepractice, Chinese

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Attachment Reminders Trigger Widespread Synchrony across Multiple Brains

Authors: Shimon-Raz O., Yeshurun Y., Ulmer-Yaniv A., Levinkron A., Salomon R., Feldman R. (2023)

Infant stimuli elicit widespread neural and behavioral response in human adults, and such massive allocation of resources attests to the evolutionary significance of the primary attachment. Here, we examined whether attachment reminders also trigger cross-brain concordance and generate greater neural uniformity, as indicated by intersubject correlation. Human mothers were imaged twice in oxytocin/placebo administration design, and stimuli included four ecological videos of a standard unfamiliar mother and infant: two infant/mother alone (Alone) and two mother–infant dyadic contexts (Social). Theory-driven analysis measured cross-brain synchrony in preregistered nodes of the parental caregiving network (PCN), which integrates subcortical structures underpinning mammalian mothering with cortical areas implicated in simulation, mentalization, and emotion regulation, and data-driven analysis assessed brain-wide concordance using whole-brain parcellation. Results demonstrated widespread cross-brain synchrony in both the PCN and across the neuroaxis, from primary sensory/somatosensory areas, through insular-cingulate regions, to temporal and prefrontal cortices. The Social context yielded significantly more cross-brain concordance, with PCNs striatum, parahippocampal gyrus, superior temporal sulcus, ACC, and PFC displaying cross-brain synchrony only to mother–infant social cues. Moment-by-moment fluctuations in mother–infant social synchrony, ranging from episodes of low synchrony to tightly coordinated positive bouts, were tracked online by cross-brain concordance in the preregistered ACC. Findings indicate that social attachment stimuli, representing evolutionary-salient universal cues that require no verbal narrative, trigger substantial interbrain concordance and suggest that the mother–infant bond, an icon standing at the heart of human civilization, may function to glue brains into a unified experience and bind humans into social groups.
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Does prior knowledge affect interaction dynamics and learning achievement in digital problem-based learning? A pilot study

Authors: Möser M., Hermkes R., Filmann N., Rüttermann S., Gerhard-Szép S. (2023)

Objective: Previous research on problem-based learning (PBL) describes that videotaped observations develop meaningful insights into cognitive processes in tutorial groups. Analysis regarding the amount of prior knowledge on learning achievement has not been investigated in medical education so far, although both are key factors of PBL success. Thus, we intended to analyse videos of digital problem-based learning (dPBL) sessions, focusing on knowledge acquisition and interaction dynamics among groups with different levels of prior knowledge to reveal any distinctions.

Methods: This study employed a pilot design by dividing 60 dental students into twelve subgroups with less or more prior knowledge, determined by a pre-semester multiple choice test (MCQ). The groups engaged in videotaped dPBL cases, which were examined regarding group interactions and tutor effectiveness. The learning achievement was assessed through a post-semester MCQ, an oral and practical exam. 

Results: The video analysis showed that dPBL groups with less prior knowledge achieved significantly higher tutor effectiveness and group interaction utterances, but that the percentage of time in which utterances occurred was similar in both groups. Related to the MCQ results, the students with less prior knowledge learned four times more than those with profound previous abilities, but no significant difference was found in the results of the oral exam and practical exam.

Conclusions: The interaction dynamics in dPBL depend on the group’s amount of prior knowledge. Especially groups including participants with less prior knowledge seemed to benefit from dPBL in comparison to groups with more prior knowledge. The dPBL groups acquired knowledge in different ways during the courses but, finally, all students arrived at a similar level of knowledge.

Keywords: problem-based learning, PBL, video-study, digital, interaction, prior knowledge, learning achievement 

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Sing to me, baby: Infants show neural tracking and rhythmic movements to live and dynamic maternal singing

Authors: Nguyen T., Reisner S., Lüger A., Wass S.V., Höhl S. and Markova G. (2023)

Infant-directed singing has unique acoustic characteristics that may allow even very young infants to respond to the rhythms carried through the caregiver’s voice. The goal of this study was to examine neural and movement responses to live and dynamic maternal singing in 7-month-old infants and their relation to linguistic development. In total, 60 mother-infant dyads were observed during two singing conditions (playsong and lullaby). In Study 1 (n = 30), we measured infant EEG and used an encoding approach utilizing ridge regressions to measure neural tracking. In Study 2 (n =40), we coded infant rhythmic movements. In both studies, we assessed children’s vocabulary when they were 20 months old. In Study 1, we found above-threshold neural tracking of maternal singing, with superior tracking of lullabies than playsongs. We also found that the acoustic features of infant-directed singing modulated tracking. In Study 2, infants showed more rhythmic movement to playsongs than lullabies. Importantly, neural coordination (Study 1) and rhythmic movement (Study 2) to playsongs were positively related to infants’ expressive vocabulary at 20 months. These results highlight the importance of infants’ brain and movement coordination to their caregiver’s musical presentations, potentially as a function of musical variability.

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Interaction coding in leadership research: A critical review and best-practice recommendations to measure behavior

Authors: Güntner A.V., Meinecke A.L., and Lüders Z.E.K. (2023)

Leadership scholars increasingly acknowledge the shortcomings of using questionnaires. Consequently, there is a trend towards more behavior-based research, with interaction coding as one promising method. By precisely analyzing recordings of leader–follower interactions, interaction coding helps quantify verbal and non-verbal behavioral patterns that unfold between leaders and their followers, thereby providing access to the behavioral dynamics that are at the core of leadership. Yet, analyzing leader–follower interactions is much less straightforward than it might appear. Bold claims like “objective data” and “actual behavior” frequently used in such studies tend to paint a somewhat tainted picture of the opportunities and challenges associated with interaction coding. To synthesize the existing empirical knowledge concerning the use of interaction coding in leadership research, we present the findings from a critical review of the current research landscape. This review highlights that questions related to observer inference, standards for observer agreement, and the validity of interaction coding are often not sufficiently addressed in empirical work. Drawing on these findings, we identify questionable research practices and juxtapose these with best-practice recommendations. Finally, we provide a discussion and outlook on how behavior-based methods can move the leadership field forward by facilitating theoretical advancements and deriving actionable guidance for practitioners.

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A Dynamic Systems Approach to Mother-Child Emotion Co-Regulation in Relation to Adaptive Functioning in Children with ASD

Authors: Yuqing Guo, Monica Garcia, Silvia Gutierrez, Sun Kim, Shannon Merrell, Christina Garibay, Paola Martinez, Soraya Davia, Valentina Valentovich, Wendy Goldberg (2015)

Parents play an important role in the development of emotion regulation capabilities, but little is known about emotion regulation between parents and young children with ASD.


Using Motivational Interviewing to reduce threats in conversations about environmental behavior

Authors: Florian E. Klonek, Amelie v. Güntner, Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, Simone Kauffeld (2015)

Human behavior contributes to a waste of environmental resources and our society is looking for ways to reduce this problem. However, humans may perceive feedback about their environmental behavior as threatening. According to self-determination theory(SDT), threats decrease intrinsic motivation for behavior change. According to self-affirmation theory (SAT), threats can harm individuals’ self-integrity. Therefore, individuals should show self-defensive biases, e.g., in terms of presenting counter - arguments when presented withe nvironmental behavior change. The current study examines how change recipients respond to threats from change agents in interactions about environmental behavior change. Moreover, we investigate how Motivational Interviewing (MI) — an intervention aimed at increasing intrinsic motivation — can reduce threats at both the social and cognitive level. We videotaped 68 dyadic interactions with change agents who either did or did not use MI (controlgroup). We coded agents verbal threats and recipients’ verbal expressions of motivation. Recipients also rated agents’ level of confrontation and empathy (i.e., cognitivereactions). As hypothesized, threats were significantly lower when change agents used MI. Perceived confrontations converged with observable social behavior of change agents in both groups. Moreover, behavioral threats showed a negative association with change recipients’ expressed motivation (i.e., reasonstochange). Contrary to our expectations, we found no relation between change agents’ verbal threats and change recipients’ verbally expressed self-defenses (i.e., sustain talk). Our results imply that MI reduces the adverse impact of threats in conversations about environmental behavior change on both the social and cognitive level. We discuss theoretical implications of our study in the context of SAT and SDT and suggest practical implications for environmental change agents in organizations.


Providing engineers with OARS and EARS:Effects of a skills-based vocational training in Motivational Interviewing for engineers in higher education

Authors: Florian E. Klonek, Simone Kauffeld (2015)

The curriculum of technical professions and engineering education often is heavily focussed on technical knowledge (Darling and Dannels, 2003). More recently, scholars have argued that oral communication skills are increasingly important for engineers (Ford and Teare, 2006; Seat et al., 2001). The rational for this argument is that communication skills are important for personal and professional development (Morreale and Pearson, 2008; Morreale et al., 2000), are rated among the most requested skills by employers (The Cline, 2005; McEwen, 1997), and can facilitate career success (Morreale and Pearson, 2008). As engineers spend about 50 percent of their day communicating with others (Vest et al., 1996) it is even more important for them to communicate effectively. However, it appears to be challenging to teach communication skills effectively to engineers (Dannels et al., 2003; Ford and Teare, 2006). Given the importance of communication skills in the area of engineering (Darling and Dannels, 2003) and higher education (Morreale and Pearson, 2008), the evaluation of communication training in this domain is worth studying.
The present study sets out to evaluate how professional development in Motivational Interviewing (MI) – a person-centered and directive communication method – has measurable impact on engineers’ communication skills. Overall, this study contributes the following. First, we will outline the basic features of MI. We will give definitions and examples of central verbal skills in MI and show how these can be assessed by using an observation-based scientific approach. Second, we will show how skills covered in MI are valuable within the work environments of engineers. Finally, we will illustrate how to use an observational instrument as a quality assurance measure in higher education. For this, we present results from a training study that we carried out in a university of technology.


Manual Distractions of Ambulance Drivers: Light-and-siren vs. Non-light-and-siren Travel

Authors: Grundgeiger, T., Scharf, M., Grundgeiger, J., Scheuchenpflug, R. (2014)

Emergency medical services personnel are involved in more transportation accidents and have higher fatality rates than do other professions, and traveling with light-and-siren is particularly risky. One factor that might contribute to transportation accidents is driver distraction. We investigated what kind of manual secondary tasks – distractions that require the driver to take at least one hand off the steering wheel – ambulance drivers face and compared the relative frequency and proportion of time spent in manual operations not related to driving for light-and-siren travel vs. non-light-and-siren travel. The results indicate that ambulance drivers face more manual distractions when traveling with light-and-siren than non-light-and-siren. In particular, operating the light-and-siren system is causing most of the manual distractions. We discuss the results and potential implication for practice.

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Toothbrushing and flossing behaviour in young adults - a video observation

Authors: Winterfeld, T., Schlueter, N., Harnacke, D., Illig, J., Margraf-Stiksrud, J., Deinzer, R., Ganss, C. (2014)

Objectives: Video observation studies of habitual oral hygiene from the 1970s revealed a striking neglect of brushing oral surfaces and unsystematic brushing patterns with frequent movements between areas. These findings were not systematically followed up; furthermore, nothing is known about whether subjects are able to floss sufficiently. Therefore, the aim of this video study was to analyse the performance of habitual toothbrushing and flossing. Methods: A random sample of 101 18-year-olds was included. Toothbrush and floss were provided; habitual brushing/flossing was videotaped in a standardised setting and analysed with the video coding software INTERACT. Parameters of interest were toothbrushing duration, type of brushing strokes, brushing patterns, flossed interproximal spaces and flossing technique. Results: The mean brushing duration was 156.0 ± 71.1 s; duration differed only slightly between the upper and lower jaw as well as between the right, left and anterior areas. However, oral surfaces were brushed distinctly shorter than vestibular surfaces (27.1 ± 27.8 s versus 72.1 ± 31.8 s; p ≤ 0.001). Participants brushed different areas of the mouth with different types of strokes, predominantly with horizontal and circular strokes. Brushing movements frequently alternated between areas (45.1 ± 22.4) not randomly but accumulated within a jaw with a tendency to move from the right to the left. Half of the participants flossed, but only one performed sufficiently. Conclusions: There was a significant neglect of brushing oral surfaces and insufficient use of floss. Brushing patterns were similar to those observed in the 1970s. Clinical relevance: Understanding habitual oral hygiene behaviour is essential for improving oral hygiene instruction strategies.

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How fun are your meetings? Investigating the relationship between humor patterns in team interactions and team performance

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J.A. (2014)

Research on humor in organizations has rarely considered the social context in which humor occurs. One such social setting that most of us experience on a daily basis concerns the team context. Building on recent theorizing about the humor–performance link in teams, this study seeks to increase our understanding of the function and effects of humor in team interaction settings. We examined behavioral patterns of humor and laughter in real teams by videotaping and coding humor and laughter during 54 regular organizational team meetings. Performance ratings were obtained immediately following the team meetings as well as at a later time point from the teams’ supervisors. At the behavioral unit level within the team interaction process, lag sequential analysis identified humor and laughter patterns occurring above chance (e.g., a joke followed by laughter, followed by another joke). Moreover, humor patterns triggered positive socioemotional communication, procedural structure, and new solutions. At the team level, humor patterns (but not humor or laughter alone) positively related to team performance, both immediately and 2 years later. Team-level job insecurity climate was identified as a boundary condition: In low job insecurity climate conditions, humor patterns were positively related to performance, whereas in high job insecurity climate conditions, humor patterns did not relate to team performance. The role of job insecurity as a boundary condition persisted at both time points. These findings underscore the importance of studying team interactions for understanding the role of humor in organizations and considering team-level boundary conditions over time.

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Einfluss der Tiefen Hirnstimulation auf die Fahrtauglichkeit im Fahrsimulator bei Patienten mit Morbus Parkinson

Authors: Maintz, L. (2014)

Die Hauptbeschwerden bei der Parkinsonschen Erkrankung sind die motorischen Symptome, wie das Zittern und die Muskelsteifheit. Ursache hierfür ist der Dopaminmangel im Gehirn. Mit der Entdeckung des L-Dopa konnte Parkinson-Patienten ein hohes Maß an Lebensqualität zurückgegeben werden. Doch bei der medikamentösen Langzeitbehandlung werden Therapieerfolge durch vermehrte Nebenwirkungen wie Fluktuationen, Dyskinesien und Dystonien begrenzt. Die operative Behandlung stellt hier eine effektive Ergänzung oder Alternative dar. In vielen Fällen kann durch eine Tiefe Hirnstimulation eine entscheidende und anhaltende Besserung der Symptome erreicht werden, die für den Patienten eine starke Einschränkung seiner täglichen Aktivitäten darstellen.


Lebensqualität in Form von Selbständigkeit und Unabhängigkeit beinhaltet für viele auch die Möglichkeit, Autofahren zu können. Die Neurologische Klinik am Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf hat im Rahmen einer Studie bei Parkinson-Patienten die Auswirkungen der Tiefen Hirnstimulation auf die Fahrtauglichkeit untersucht. Neben einfachen motorischen Fähigkeiten sollten so kognitive Fähigkeiten wie Aufmerksamkeit, Konzentrationsvermögen, Anpassungsfähigkeit und Reaktionsgeschwindigkeit gemessen werden.


Hierfür sind die Probanden in einem Fahrsimulator unter Einfluss der Hirnstimulation eine vorab definierte Strecke gefahren. Bei der zweiten Fahrt wurde die Stimulation ausgeschaltet, um den Effekt der Stimulation auf das Fahrverhalten zu untersuchen. Der dritte Schritt sollte Aufschlüsse über die möglichen Unterschiede der Fähigkeiten der Probanden bei Stimulation im Gegensatz zur reinen Medikation geben. Dafür blieb bei der dritten Messung die Stimulation ausgeschaltet und es wurde eine individuell bestimmte Mente an L-Dopa verabreicht.

Die Datenaufzeichnung und -auswertung erfolgte mit der Software Mangold INTERACT. In INTERACT wurden das Fahrverhalten aufgrund von Videoaufzeichnungen analysiert und die Fehler kodiert. Das Programm-Modul DataView diente dabei zur graphischen Darstellung der aufgezeichneten Daten des Fahrsimulators. So konnten z.B. Gas- oder Bremssignale synchron zur aufgezeichneten Videodatei analysiert werden.


Die Studie erlaubt erstmals einen Einblick in die Auswirkung der Tiefen Hirnstimulation auf die Fertigkeiten von Parkinson-Patienten beim Führen eines Kraftfahrzeugs. Zusätzlich ermöglicht diese Studie einen Vergleich der Fahrkompetenz unter THS im Gegensatz zum Einfluss unter L-Dopa. Als wichtigste Erkenntnis geht hervor, dass die Probanden unter STN-Stimulation ein deutlich besseres Fahrverhalten zeigten als nach der Gabe von L-Dopa. Da sich unter beiden therapeutischen Maßnahmen die Höhe der Punktezahl in der UPDRS nicht signifikant unterschied, ist davon auszugehen, dass die überlegene Fahrleistung nicht durch eine reine Verbesserung der Motorik, sondern möglicherweise durch Vorteile der THS auf nicht-motorische fahrrelevante Fähigkeiten zurückzuführen ist.

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How young children view mathematical representations: a study using eye-tracking technology

Authors: Bolden, D., Barmby, P., Raine, S., Gardner, M. (2015)

It has been shown that mathematical representations can aid children’s understanding of mathematical concepts but that children can sometimes have difficulty in interpreting them correctly. New advances in eye-tracking technology can help in this respect because it allows data to be gathered concerning children’s focus of attention and so indicate on what aspects of the representations they are focussing. However, recent eye-tracking technology has not been used to any great degree in investigating the way children view and interpret mathematical representations.   Purpose: This research explored the use of new advances in eye-tracking technology in investigating how young children view and interpret mathematical representations of multiplication.   Sample: Nine Year 5 children (four boys, five girls, aged 9–10 years of age) from a local primary (elementary) school in the North-East of England were asked to complete the test during school time. The children represented a range of attainment levels across the mathematical domain (three higher-, three middle- and three lowerattaining children) and were selected accordingly by their class teacher. We recognise that this study was only based on a small sample of children, however, this number still allowed us to make meaningful comparisons in particular between the different types of representations presented.   

Design and methods 
The study consisted of each child looking at 18 static slides, one after the other, with each slide presenting a symbolic and a picture representation of multiplication problems. The data that was captured by the eye tracker and recorded was then analysed quantitatively (e.g. time on each slide, time on each area of interest specified within the software) and qualitatively (video recordings of each child’s gaze trajectory during each representation was carried out, thereby allowing a categorisation of the different approaches adopted) using MangoldVision software.   

The study showed that (a) the particular form of the number line representation used in this study was less successful than the other picture representations used (equal groups, array) in promoting multiplicative thinking in children, and (b) the success of children to think multiplicatively with the ‘groups’ and the array representation was related to their general mathematics attainment levels.   

These findings have implications for teacher practice in that teachers need to be clear about the possible drawbacks of particular representations. Even in using more successful representations, for lower-attaining children, the progression in their understanding of the representation needs to be taken into account by the teacher. The study also highlighted that the eye-tracking technology does have some limitations but is useful in investigating young children’s focus of attention whilst undertaking a mathematics assessment task. 

Learning from their own actions: the unique effect of producing actions on infants' action understanding

Authors: Gerson, S., Woodward, A. (2014)

Prior research suggests that infants' action production affects their action understanding, but little is known about the aspects of motor experience that render these effects. In Study 1, the relative contributions of self-produced (n = 30) and observational (n = 30) action experience on 3-month-old infants' action understanding was assessed using a visual habituation paradigm. In Study 2, generalization of training to a new context was examined (n = 30). Results revealed a unique effect of active over observational experience. Furthermore, findings suggest that benefits of trained actions do not generalize broadly, at least following brief training.

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Do maternal interactive behaviors correlate with developmental outcomes and mastery motivation in toddlers with and without motor delay?

Authors: Wang, P., Morgan, G.A., Hwang, A., Chen, L., Liao, H. (2014)


Background: Maternal interactive behaviors theoretically affect developmental outcomes and mastery motivation in young children. However, these associations are inconsistent in the literature.

Objective: The purposes of this study were: (1) to examine the differences in maternal behaviors between toddlers with motor delay (MD) and those with typical development (TD), (2) to investigate the correlation of maternal behaviors and developmental quotients (DQs) in toddlers with MD and TD, and (3) to examine the correlation of maternal behaviors and mastery motivation in toddlers with MD and TD.

Design: This was a sex- and mental age–matched case-control study.

Methods: Twenty-two mother-child dyads of toddlers with MD (ages 23–47 months) and 22 dyads of sex- and mental age–matched toddlers with TD (ages 15–29 months) were recruited. Maternal scores from the Nursing Child Assessment Teaching Scale, 2 indicators of motivation (persistence and mastery pleasure) from individualized mastery tasks and the Dimensions of Mastery Questionnaire, and DQs from the Comprehensive Developmental Inventory for Infants and Children were assessed.

Results: Mothers of children in the MD group showed significantly lower cognitive growth fostering scores than mothers of children in the TD group. Maternal total scores were significantly correlated with whole DQs in both groups. In the MD group, maternal total scores correlated significantly with DMQ mastery pleasure but not with mastery task motivation.

Limitations: The study design makes it impossible to know the causal relationships between maternal behaviors and children's DQs and motivation.

Conclusions: Mothers of toddlers with MD exhibited less adequate interactive behaviors than mothers of toddlers with TD. Because higher-quality maternal behaviors correlated with higher DQs in the MD group, clinicians should encourage parents to participate in early intervention programs and model high-quality parenting behavior to enhance parents' and children's outcomes.

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Studie: Sparsames Nutzerverhalten senkt Energiekosten um 20 Prozent

Authors: Kauffeld, S., Klonek, F., Endrejat, P. (2014)

EnEff Campus 2020: Erarbeitung und Einsatz von Methoden und Werkzeugen zur nachhaltigen Verbesserung der Energieeffizienz auf dem Campus der TU Braunschweig   

Alte Bauten, einfach verglaste Fenster, keine vernünftige Wärmedämmung, veraltete Heiztechnik – das ist gang und gäbe bei öffentlichen Gebäuden. Bemerkbar macht sich dies in steigenden Energiekosten, die den Einrichtungen zu schaffen machen.  An der Technischen Universität Braunschweig untersuchen daher Forscher verschiedener Disziplinen, wie man trotz knapper öffentlicher Kassen und damit ohne teure bauliche Maßnahmen die Energiekosten senken kann. Mit im Forscherteam sind neben Architekten, Städteplanern und Elektrotechnikern auch Psychologen, die den wichtigen Faktor Mensch untersuchen.   

Beispiel TU Braunschweig: Die 201 Gebäude, über 80 Prozent vor 1980 erbaut, führten in den letzten fünf Jahren zu einem Anstieg der Heizkosten von +17 Prozent und einem Anstieg der Stromkosten von +32 Prozent. Bis 2018 wird ein Anstieg der Energiekosten auf insgesamt über 14 Mio. Euro pro Jahr prognostiziert. Grund genug für die Forscher, ein Pilotprojekt zu starten, durch das der Primärenergieverbrauch um 40% gesenkt werden soll. Das langfristige Ziel ist die Versorgung des Campus mit ausschließlich regenerativer Energie.   

Neben der energetischen Optimierung der Gebäude werden auch nutzerbedingte Energieeinsparpotenziale untersucht. Allein durch energiesparendes Verhalten sowie organisatorische Optimierungen sollen so bis zu 20% Energie eingespart werden. Daher sind am Masterplan der TU Braunschweig auch Psychologen beteiligt. Sie entwickeln ein Kommunikationskonzept, wie Nutzer zu energieeffizientem Verhalten motiviert werden können. Mithilfe einer Mangold INTERACT basierten Interaktionsanalyse werden Kommunikationsprozesse zwischen Energie-Coaches und Nutzern dargestellt und evaluiert. Ziel ist die Verankerung eines entsprechenden Kommunikationskonzepts im energetischen Masterplan. In Workshops, Schulungen und Energie-Coachings sollen z.B. Mitarbeiter der Hochschule informiert und motiviert werden, im Arbeitsalltag Energie zu sparen und diese Einstellung auch an andere Nutzer weiterzugeben. Wie die Interaktionsanalyse mit Mangold INTERACT zeigt, ist dabei nicht nur wichtig, was gesagt wird, sondern vor allem, wie etwas gesagt wird, um beim Nutzer keinen Widerstand, sondern Empathie und Veränderungsbereitschaft zu wecken.   

Die Ergebnisse können auch auf andere öffentliche Einrichtungen übertragen werden, um zur Senkung von Energiekosten beizutragen.   

Dynamic synchronous gestures assist word learning in low functioning ASD Children

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Positioning of term infants during delivery room routine handling - analysis of videos

Authors: Konstantelos, D., Gurth, H., Bergert, R., Ifflaender, S. & Rüdiger, M. (2014)

Delivery room management (DR) of the newly born infant should be performed according to international guidelines, but no recommendations are available for an infant’s position immediately after birth. The present study was performed to answer the following questions: 1. How often is DR-management performed in term infants in side position? 2. Is routine DR-management possible in side position? 3. Is there any benefit of side position with respect to agitation or vital parameters?


Cross-sectional study of video-recorded DR-management in term newborns delivered by C-section in 2012. Videos were analysed for infant’s position, administered interventions, vital parameters and agitation.


187 videos were analysed. The Main Position (defined as position spent more than 70% of the time) was “supine” in 91, “side” in 63 and “not determinable” in 33 infants. “Supine” infants received significantly (p < 0.001) more often stimulation (12.5% of the total time) than “side” infants (3.9% of time). There were no differences between both groups with regard to suctioning; CPAP was exclusively (98%) administered in supine position. Newborns on side were less agitated than those on supine. There was a trend towards a better oxygenation in “side” positioned infants (p = 0.055) and significantly (p = 0.04) higher saturation values in “left-sided” infants than “right-sided” infants at 8th minute. “Side” positioned infants reached oxygen saturation values >90% earlier than “supine” positioned infants (p = 0.16).

DR-management is feasible in the side position in term infants. Side position seems to be associated with reduced agitation and improved oxygenation. However, it remains unclear whether this represents a causal relationship or an association. The study supports the need for a randomized controlled trial.

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Suctioning habits in the delivery room and the influence on postnatal adaptation - a video analysis

Authors: Konstantelos, D., Ifflaender, S., Dinger, J., Rüdiger, M. (2014)

The aim was to determine how often infants are suctioned during delivery and how often it affects the neonate.

Single-center analysis of video-recorded delivery room management after c-section from January 2012 until April 2013. Time point, duration, and frequency of suctioning in term and preterm newborns were analyzed along with vital parameters (heart rate HR and saturation values).

Three hundred forty-six videos were analyzed with the software Mangold INTERACT. Twenty-three percent of term and 66% of preterm newborns were suctioned. Newborns were suctioned up to 14 times; total duration spent for suctioning was between 2 and 154 s. Suctioning before face mask application occurred in 31% of the suctioned newborns requiring respiratory support. No severe bradycardia (<60 bpm) was noticed. Suctioning did not have an effect on HR and saturation in preterm infants but was associated with significantly higher HR in term infants requiring respiratory support. Term infants who did not require respiratory support showed significantly higher saturation values at 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 min if they were not suctioned.

Suctioning of newborns in the delivery room does not adhere to recommendations of international guidelines. However, previously described side effects of suctioning could not be confirmed.

Coaches and Clients in Action: A Sequential Analysis of Interpersonal Coach and Client Behavior

Authors: Ianiro, P.M., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. & Kauffeld, S. (2014)

Despite calls for studying interaction processes in coaching, little is known about the link between coach-client interactions and coaching success. In particular, interpersonal behavior in coaching remains unexplored, although it is considered highly relevant to social relationships and interaction outcomes. This study takes first steps to adress this gap. The study examines the dynamics of coaches' and clients' interpersonal behavior based on the two basic dimensions affiliation and dominance. Furthermore, the link between emergent interpersonal behavior patterns and coaching outcomes is investigated. To this end, a total of 11,095 behavioral acts nested in 30 coach-client dyads were videotaped and analyzed. Sequential analysis showed that reciprocal friendliness patterns were positively linked to working alliance. Coaches' dominant-friendly interaction behavior particularly activated clients, in terms of showing dominance during the coaching interaction process. Clients' dominance was linked to their overall goal attainment. The results highlight the importance of interpersonal behavior for coaching success. Specifically, the findings suggest that dominance interaction patterns are context- and relation-specific, offering an explanation for contradicting empirical studies on interpersonal dominance. For coaches, the study implies that high awareness for interpersonal signals can help establish a positive atmosphere and activate clients' dominance. This empirical study uses behavior observation and interaction analysis to understand the interpersonal dynamics during coaching sessions.

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Synchrony, Co-Eating and Communication During Complementary Feeding in Early Infancy

Authors: Costantini C., Akehurst L., Reddy V. and Fasulo A. (2018)

The transition from milk to complementary food is a crucial but difficult process, requiring considerable adult sensitivity. We know little about the relationship between maternal feeding behaviors and infant willingness to eat at the onset of complementary feeding (CF), and we know even less about how these patterns might vary across cultures. Thirty-seven dyads (15 from the UK and 22 from Italy) took part in a longitudinal study, during which mealtimes were video-recorded 1 week after the onset of CF (Time 1) and at 7 months of infant age (Time 2). The first five minutes of mealtimes were coded for maternal feeding behaviors, for infant willingness to eat, and for synchrony in feeding. Maternal vocal communications (MVCs) and attention-directing acts (ADAs) during the whole mealtime were also coded. Infant willingness to eat was significantly related to synchrony and co-eating, suggesting the importance of sensitivity and empathy during feeding as in other parent–infant interactions. The frequency of maternal ADAs varied between nationalities and, contrary to current advice, did not relate negatively to infant willingness to eat. These patterns and variations suggest the need to consider CF as a contextually variable and sensitive foundation for feeding relationships.

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Methodological Considerations for Investigating the Microdynamics of Social Interaction Development

Authors: de Barbaro, K., Forster, D., Johnson, C.M. & Deak, G.O. (2013)

Infants are biologically prepared to learn complex behaviors by interacting in dynamic, responsive social environments. Although the importance of interactive social experiences has long been recognized, current methods for studying complex multimodal interactions are lagging. This paper outlines a systems approach for characterizing fine-grained temporal dynamics of developing social interaction. We provide best practices for capturing, coding, and analyzing interaction activity on multiple-temporal scales, from fractions of seconds (e.g. gaze shifts), to minutes (e.g. coordinated play episodes), to weeks or months (e.g. developmental change). IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, 5(3), 258-270

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Assessing Motivational Interviewing 2.0: An illustration of software-supported coding schemes

Authors: Klonek, F., Kauffeld, S. (2014)

Scholars in Motivational Interviewing (MI) have developed several coding schemes to assess treatment adherence, client language, and sequential dynamics. Traditionally, these coding schemes have been administered with paper and pencil. The presentation introduces implementations of software-supported MI coding schemes and discusses how software-implementation facilitates coding work, while still capturing the sequential timed-event data of the dyadic interaction. Furthermore, it is presented how coding instruments can be economized by means of a thin behavior slicing procedure. Data originated from a study with MI trained interviewers who discussed sustainable use of environmental resources as a target behavior with their respective clients. First, it is presented how branchedchain coding can be used to familiarize inexperienced observers with the MI Skill Code. Second, it is calculated two observer agreement measures of fourteen double-coded sessions for the MI Treatment Integrity Code (MITI): Time-unit kappa and Intraclass correlation. Third, the researchers extracted thin behavior slices (ten minutes) and compared their MITI code statistics with the entire session. Results show that Kappa indices are more conservative reliability estimates than Intraclass correlations. Furthermore, thin behavior slicing revealed that only 10-minutes can provide accurate estimates for MITI verbal behavior codes. The researchers discuss costs and benefits of software-supported coding schemes.   Presentation at the ICMI International Conference on Motivational Interviewing, Amsterdam, June 16-18, 2014. 



Comparison of Emotion Co-Regulation between Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Families of Typically Developing Children

Authors: Goldberg, W., Guo, Y., Gutierrez, S., Merrell, S., House, S., Fraher, T., Tsai, S., Kim, S., Garcia, M., Garibay, C., Martinez, P. Davia, S. (2014)

Poster presented at UROP, University of California, Irvine, May 2014


Dynamics of Resistance to Change: A Sequential Analysis of Change Agents in Action

Authors: Klonek, F., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Kauffeld, S. (2014)

Despite consensus that successful change management depends on how change is communicated to employees, the dynamic communication process between change agents and recipients remains largely unexplored. We discuss how change language can capture recipients’ resistance to and readiness for change, in terms of change versus sustain talk, and adopt a coding instrument from clinical psychology (Motivational Interviewing Skill Code, MISC). We explore whether autonomy-restrictive change agent behaviors may contribute to resistance to change. In a preliminary study, we demonstrate the applicability of the MISC for studying ambivalence in change-related interactions. Next, in a quantitative study of 28 dyadic interactions from a student sample, we examine how change agent behaviors elicit recipients’ resistance during the interaction flow, using lag sequential analysis. Our findings show that autonomy-restrictive agent behaviors evoke sustain talk. Recipients’ sustain talk in turn evokes autonomy-restrictive agent behavior. We discuss implications for conceptualizing resistance to change as a dynamically emerging conversational construct and point out practical implications for change agents.

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Watching how they are talking - Analyzing verbal behavior in two non-residential building projects to save energy by means of user participation

Authors: Klonek, F., Kauffeld, S., Plesser, S. & Görtgens, A. (2014)

When organizations implement energy saving measures, building users are not always ready for the organisational change process (By, 2007). While user motivation is crucial for facilitating the change process, resistance to change inhibits well-intended measures. Many organizations use participatory interventions in order to increase participation and motivation of building users (Kauran, 2013; Griesel, 2004). We propose a behavioral approach to measure motivation and resistance to change in terms of the observable verbal behavior: While “change talk” expresses the willingness to adopt behavioral changes, “sustain talk” expresses resistance and signals that any efforts to promote behavior change are worthless. Our approach focuses on the dynamic interactions between change agents and building users. Therefore, we apply interaction analysis – a scientific procedure that allows investigating communication exchange on an utterance-by-utterance level (Mangold, 2010). We show that this method is particularly useful to understand how to increase users’ participation and user motivation within energy saving projects.   

Poster presented at the BEHAVE Conference, Oxford, September 2014


Development of a Culturally Sensitive Research Methodology in Early Communication and Language Development

Authors: Frank, B., Polzin, C., Semkiwa, J. & Lüdtke, U.

Poster presented at the 5th East African Conference on Communication Disability, Mombasa, Kenya, September 2013


From Interactions to Conversations: The Development of Joint Engagement During Early Childhood

Authors: Adamson, L.B., Bakeman, R., Deckner, D.F., Nelson, P.B.

This research traces the development of symbol-infused joint engagement during mother–child interactions into the preschool years. Forty-nine children, who had been previously observed as toddlers (L. B. Adamson, R. Bakeman, & D. F. Deckner, ), were systematically observed during interactions with their mothers at ages 3½, 4½, and 5½ during activities related to the past and future, internal states, and graphic systems. Although the amount of symbol-infused joint engagement reached a ceiling by 3½, its focus continued to become more complex and its form more balanced. Individual differences in children's symbol-infused joint engagement were stable across 4 years. These findings highlight both how joint engagement is transformed as conversational skills develop and how it remains rooted in earlier interactions and supported by caregiver's actions.

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Prenatal programming of emotion regulation: Neonatal reactivity as a differential susceptibility factor moderating the outcome of prenatal cortisol levels

Authors: Bolten, M., Nast, I., Skrundz, M., Stadler, C., Hellhammer, D., Meinlschmidt, G.

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation during pregnancy is linked to dysfunctional behavioral outcomes in the offspring. According to Belsky's differential susceptibility hypothesis, individuals vary regarding their developmental plasticity. Translating the differential susceptibility hypothesis to the field of fetal programming, we hypothesize that infants' temperament, as the constitutionally based reactivity to stimulation, moderates prenatal environmental effects on postnatal emotion regulation.

Maternal HPA axis activity and stress-reactivity during pregnancy was estimated, by measuring cortisol concentrations in saliva, collected at 0, 30, 45 and 60 min after awakening and in blood, collected during a laboratory stress test (Trier Social Stress Test), respectively. Newborns reactivity to stimulation was evaluated between postnatal day 10 and 14 using the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale. Infant's self-quieting-activities, as an indicator of emotion regulation, were evaluated at the age of six months during the still face paradigm.

Maternal cortisol reactivity to stress during pregnancy was associated with infant's emotion regulation at the age of six months. Whereas cortisol levels after awakening in mid and late pregnancy were not associated with emotion regulation. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that in interaction with neonatal reactivity, both, prenatal maternal HPA activity as well as prenatal maternal HPA reactivity to stress predicted emotion regulation. The findings indicate that newborns' reactivity to stimulation is moderating the association between prenatal exposure to maternal glucocorticoids and emotion regulation in infancy. Data suggests that temperamental characteristics of the newborn are a relevant differential susceptibility factor with regard to prenatal effects on emotion regulation.

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From Action to Interaction: Infant Object Exploration and Mothers' Contigent Responsiveness

Authors: Tamis-LeMonda, C.S., Kuchirko, Y., Tafuro, L.

We examined maternal contingent responsiveness to infant object exploration in 190 mother-infant pairs from diverse cultural communities. Dyads were video-recorded during book-sharing and play when infants were 14 mo. Researchers coded the temporal onsets and offsets of infant and mother object exploration and mothers' referential (e.g., “That's a bead”) and regulatory (e.g., “Stop it”) language. The times when infant or mother were neither exploring objects nor communicating were classified as “off task.” Sequential analysis was used to examine whether certain maternal behaviors were more (or less) likely to follow infant object exploration relative to chance, to one another, and to times when infants were off task. Mothers were more likely to explore objects and use referential language in response to infant object exploration than to use regulatory language or be off task, and maternal behaviors were reduced in the context of infants being off task. Additionally, mothers coordinated their object exploration with referential language specifically; thus, mothers' responses to infants were didactic and multimodal. Infant object exploration elicits reciprocal object exploration and informative verbal input from mothers, illustrating the active role infants play in their social experiences.

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Individualized Behavioral Assessments and Maternal Ratings of Mastery Motivation in Mental Age-Matched Toddlers with and without Motor Delay

Authors: Wang, Pei-Jung, Morgan, George A., Hwang, Ai-Wen und Liao, Hua-Fang

Mastery motivation is a precursor of future developmental outcomes. Evidence about whether toddlers with motor delay have lower mastery motivation is inconclusive.

The purpose of his study was to examine differences between mental age-matched toddlers with and without motor delay on various mastery motivation indicators. A mental age- and sex-matched case-control study was performed. Twenty-two children with motor delay, aged 23 to 47 months, and 22 childen who were developing typically, aged 15 to 29 months, were recruited. Persistence and mastery pleasure were measured with behavioral tasks that were moderately challenging for each child and with maternal ratings using the Dimensions of Mastery Questionnaire (DMQ). The DMQ was rated by each child's mother based on her perception of her child's motivation. Two types of structured tasks (a puzzle and a cause-effect toy selected to be moderately challenging for each child) were administered in a laboratory setting and recorded on videos. Paired t tests or Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to examine group differences in persistence and mastery pleasure.

Children with motor delay were rated lower on DMQ persistence than the typically developing group, but they did not show significantly lower persistence on the structured tasks. There were no significant differences in mastery pleasure between the two groups on either measure. Toddlers with motor delay did not show longer persistence and pleasure when given tasks that were moderately challenging; however, their mothers tended to view them as having lower motivation. Clinicans and parents should provide appropriately challenging tasks to increase children's success and motivation.

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Early Dialogs between Mother and Infant. A Study on the Situation of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants in the Process of Early Education

Authors: Horsch, Ursula

From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their infant. They introduce as well other people as the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogical way. Proceeding hand in hand they pass on basic dialogical competences which are responsible for the development of Early Education.

The research project Dialogic Development of Infants (Horsch et al. since 2004) addresses the broad dialogic development of parents and infants within the first 18 months of life. Our objective is to describe these preverbal dialogs and their relevance for processes of education. The following presented research project is realized in Germany, but we just start at SEKOMU with this study. So we are able to take the pictures out of the SEKOMU project.

Particular emphasis will be placed on these dialogic elements: vocalisation of the infants, dialogic echo and greeting behaviour of the parents and motherese/fatherese. The empirical date is derived from a longitudinal study within the first 18 months of the infant´s life. The data is collected monthly by video recording in a natural setting. Computerized analyses (interact) are used for the evaluation of the data to study the correlations among the dialogic elements.

The significant correlations of infants with normal hearing are compared with the data of the deaf or hard of hearing infants and are discussed in relation to aspects of Bildung.


Driving and Hindering Forces in Group Discussions: Analyzing Change and Sustain Talk in a Software Engineering Project

Authors: Paulsen, H., Klonek, F.E., Meinecke, A., Schneider, K., Liskin, O. & Kauffeld, S.

Poster presented at the INTER.COM Symposium, Braunschweig, 2013.


Act4leadership: Introducing a new coding scheme for analyzing leader-follower-interactions

Authors: Meinecke, A.L., Wachsmuth, D. & Kauffeld, S.

Poster presented at the INTER.COM Symposium, Braunschweig, 2013.


A Sequential Analysis of Procedural Meeting Communication: How Teams Facilitate Their Meetings

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J.A., Kauffeld, S.

How do teams facilitate their own meetings? Unmanaged (or free) social interaction often leads to poor decision-making, unnecessary conformity, social loafing, and ineffective communication processes, practices, and products. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential benefits of procedural communication in team meetings. The role of procedural communication, defined as verbal behaviors that structure group discussion to facilitate goal accomplishment, was examined in 59 team meetings from 19 organizations. Meeting behaviors were videotaped and coded. Lag sequential analysis revealed that procedural meeting behaviors are sustained by supporting statements within the team interaction process. They promote proactive communication (e.g., who will do what and when) and significantly inhibit dysfunctional meeting behaviors (e.g., losing the train of thought, criticizing others, and complaining). These patterns were found both at lag1 and lag2. Furthermore, the more evenly distributed procedural meeting behaviors were across team members, the more team members were satisfied with their discussion processes and outcomes. For practice, these findings suggest that managers should encourage procedural communication to enhance meeting effectiveness, and team members should share the responsibility of procedurally facilitating their meetings.

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Do I need, am I able to... and do I even want to change? Which potential does Motivational Interviewing offer for organizations

Authors: Klonek, F.E., Kauffeld, S.

Organizational, team or individual change projects are highly dependent upon the motivation of the affected employees. Motivational Interviewing (MI) offers a promising method to initiate and accompany change management projects. Evidence from clinical psychology shows that MI stimulates change by evoking change talk and reducing sustain talk - two psycholinguistic constructs. In this paper, we want to discuss - based on the existing research and an expert workshop - benefits and possible applications of MI for organizations. By means of three examples from interaction analysis, we can show how coaches, facilitators and executives can implement principles of MI. Finally, we introduce two German versions of MI observation methods that help to objectively assess motivational interaction processes. Preliminary data shows that there is still a lack of motivational techniques within the observed interaction processes.   

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Physiological regulation in infants of women with a mood disorder: examining associations with maternal symptoms and stress

Authors: Johnson, K.C., Brennan, P.A., Stowe, Z.N., Leibenluft, E. & Newport, D.J.

The offspring of mothers with mood disorders may evidence increased behavioral problems as early as preschool; however, no study to date has examined psychophysiological characteristics during infancy, particularly among offspring of mothers diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Elucidating psychobiological mechanisms of risk early in development is critical to inform prevention and early intervention efforts.

This study compared physiological and behavioral responsivity in 6-month-old infants (N = 329) of mothers with lifetime histories of bipolar disorder (BD, n = 44), major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 244), or no history of Axis I disorders (CTL, n = 41). Infant respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was measured in a laboratory stressor paradigm. Measures of infant affect and behavior during mother–infant interaction, current maternal depressive symptoms, and exposure to stressful life events were examined with respect to diagnostic group and RSA.

Groups did not differ in baseline RSA or infant affect measures. However, during the stressor task, infants of mothers with BD evidenced increases in RSA, while infants of MDD and CTL mothers evidenced decreases in RSA. Though levels of postnatal stress and current levels of maternal depressive symptoms differed among groups, neither of these factors predicted infant psychophysiological responses.

At 6 months of age, infants of mothers with BD show differences in psychophysiological regulation. These differences cannot be accounted for by perinatal outcome, current maternal depressive symptoms, or exposure to stressful life events, and thus may reflect endophenotypic markers of psychopathological risk.

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The joint role of trained, untrained, and observed actions at the origins of goal recognition

Authors: Gerson, S.A., Woodward, A.L.

Recent findings across a variety of domains reveal the benefits of self-produced experience on object exploration, object knowledge, attention, and action perception. The influence of active experience may be particularly important in infancy, when motor development is undergoing great changes. Despite the importance of self-produced experience, we know that infants and young children are eventually able to gain knowledge through purely observational experience. In the current work, three-month-old infants were given experience with object-directed actions in one of three forms and their recognition of the goal of grasping actions was then assessed in a habituation paradigm. All infants were given the chance to manually interact with the toys without assistance (a difficult task for most three-month-olds). Two of the three groups were then given additional experience with object-directed actions, either through active training (in which Velcro mittens helped infants act more efficiently) or observational training. Findings support the conclusion that self-produced experience is uniquely informative for action perception and suggest that individual differences in spontaneous motor activity may interact with observational experience to inform action perception early in life.

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Twelve-month "social revolution" emerges from mother-infant sensory-motor coordination: A longitudinal investigation

Authors: de Barbaro, K., Johnson, C., Deak, G.O.

Previous accounts of the development of triadic attention identify a ‘‘curious’’ shift around nine to twelve months. We introduce a novel approach inspired by distributed and embodied cognition frameworks. In a longitudinal study of five mother-infant dyads, videos of home play interactions were recorded over the infants’ first year. We scrutinized the real-time organization of mother-infant sensorimotor activity, including the targets of hands, gaze, and mouth, as the dyad members attended to one another and
to toys. We identified a pervasive developmental pattern: At four months, infants converged all sensory modalities on objects introduced by the mother. From six to twelve months, infants showed increasing decoupling of hands and eyes and increasingly elaborate sequences in multi -object play. Concurrently, dyads engaged in increasingly elaborate social exchanges (e.g., turn-taking) as mothers adapted to infants’ sensorimotor skills. We therefore theorize that triadic attention emerges not as a novel form of social cognition but as a continuous product of sensorimotor development, scaffolded by parents’ expanding social actions.


Micro-analysis of infant looking in a naturalistic social setting: Insights from biologically based models of attention

Authors: de Barbaro, K., Chiba, A., Deak, G.O.

A current theory of attention posits that several micro-indices of attentional vigilance are dependent on activation of the locus coeruleus, a brainstem nucleus that regulates cortical norepinephrine activity (Aston-Jones et al., 1999). This theory may account for many findings in the infant literature, while highlighting important new areas for research and theory on infant attention. We examined the visual behaviors of n = 16 infants (6–7 months) while they attended to multiple spatially distributed
targets in a naturalistic environment. We coded four measures of attentional vigilance, adapted from studies of norepinergic modulation of animal attention: rate of fixations, duration of fixations, latency to reorientation, and target ‘hits’. These measures showed a high degree of coherence in individual infants, in parallel with findings from animal studies. Results also suggest that less vigilant infants showed greater habituation to the trial structure and more attentiveness to less salient stimuli during periods of high attentional competition. This pattern of results is predicted by the Aston-Jones model of attention, but could not be explained by the standard information processing model.


When is the "chemistry" right in Coaching? Publication with Coach - Client Relationship

Authors: Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld, Dipl. Psych. Patrizia Ianiro, Dipl. Psych. Carsten Schermuly

There is growing evidence that coaching is effective. However, little is known about the process variables critical for coaching success. Friendliness, openness and empathy are important. However, they do not necessarily lead to a sustainable and trusting relationship between coach and client.

A recent publication by Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld, Patrizia Ianiro and Carsten Schermuly examines the contribution of the behavioral dimensions “affiliation” and “dominance” for a positive coaching relationship and coaching success. Affiliation includes the friendliness. Dominance is the sovereign, self-confident attitude that the client expects of the coach. The client wants to be led by the coaching process, which is also required by the coach. But how dominant should the coach be?

For the study, coaching sessions were evaluated by video analysis with the Mangold INTERACT Software. The analysis shows that coach and client do not differ much from each other concerning affiliation dimensions – both show a similar kind.

There were major differences in dominance behavior. The study concludes that coaching will be particularly successful when coach and client show a similar dominance behavior. Although the client wants to be led, he is also aware of his own essential contribution in the success of the coaching. He would like to be acknowledged at “eye-level” with the coach. This contributes to the fact that the relationship is perceived by the client as being particularly constructive and successful.

Link to article in the Journal "Coaching"

Study with Mangold INTERACT: User-Related Energy Saving Potential

Authors: Dipl. Psych. Florian Klonek, Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld

Reduce Energy Demand - without extensive investments 
Large investments are not always necessary in saving energy, especially in large service companies (e.g. Hospitals and Universities). Up to 20% of the energy can be saved during daily work through energy-saving behavior as well as through technical and organizational operations. "Re-Co - Smart Energy Saving" is an EU-funded pilot project involving partners in 8 countries that examines these savings.   

The Human Factor 
The motivation of potential users in the implementation of energy saving is a key factor. One part of the Re-Co project is the development of a communication concept which involves users to work together on behavioral change measures. The goal is to create awareness of an "energy efficient" working day - through long-term changes in behavior. The desired side effect: to increase the understanding of energy saving measures and apply this knowledge to their everyday lives.   

Communication and Motivation 
Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld and Dipl. Psych. Florian Klonek from the Institute of Psychology at the Technical University of Braunschweig show in a recent study how users can reach goals and be motivated with energy-saving. With the help from the Mangold INTERACT Software the communication patterns between Re-Co consultants and users are presented and interpreted. Based on different scenarios, the study shows how strongly the projects depend on the micro-verbal communication level. The study also provides valuable information, such as valuable information for energy consultants and how to productively communicate with customers and users.   


Multiple research articles on comparative differential and personality psychology

Authors: Jana Uher

Multiple research articles on comparative differential and personality psychology. Research into primate personality and social relationships.

Link to "Primate Personality Net"

Speaking Up Is Related to Better Team Performance in Simulated Anesthesia Inductions: An Observational Study

Authors: Michaela Kolbe, Michael J. Burtscher, Johannes Wacker, Bastian Grande, Renata Nohynkova, Tanja Manser, Donat R. Spahn, Gudela Grote

Thegoal in this study was to test the relationship between speaking up—i.e., questioning, correcting, or clarifying a current procedure—and technical team performance in anesthesia.
Hypothesis 1: team members’ higher levels of speaking up are related to higher levels of technical team performance.
Hypothesis 2: team members will react to speaking up by either clarifying their procedure or initiating a procedural change.
Hypothesis 3: higher levels of speaking up during an earlier phase of teamwork will be related to higher levels of speaking up during a later phase.
This report was previously presented, in part, at the fourth International Workshop: Behavioural Science Applied to Surgery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; sixth Annual SIOP Conference, Chicago, IL; and 10th International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making, Orlando, FL. Parts of the raw data were also used for an analysis of interactions of team mental models and monitoring behaviors.

Link to "Anesthesia & Analgesia" journal

Gaze Patterns to a Speaker's Face in Typically Developing and ASD Children

Authors: Elician Celine Wartman, Nancy Riccardi, Nancy Rader

To study attention to a speaker in typically developing (TD) children and children with autism (ASD), we tested TD children in three age groups and one group of ASD children. The younger TD children and the ASD children spent less time looking at the speaker than the older TD children. ASD children also spent less time looking at the eyes than the mouth compared to age-similar TD children. These results reveal differences between age-similar TD children and in children with ASD in selective attention to a speaker’s face. The ASD looking pattern was most like that of TD toddlers. Poster Presentation at EPA, Pittsburg, USA, 2012


Looking Away from the Speaker's Mouth: A Developmental Shift from Infancy to Preschool

Authors: Nancy Rader, Patricial Zukow-Goldring, Elizabeth Stuprich, Michelle Rhoades

Our research examined where infants and children focus their attention when viewing a speaker. We hypothesized that infants would spend more time looking at the speaker’s mouth than the eyes, while preschool children would spend more time looking at the speaker’s eyes than the mouth. Using eye tracking technology, we measured gaze duration to the eyes and mouth of the speaker. The results supported our hypothesis.

Poster Presentation at SRCD, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Fetal Exposure to Synthetic Oxytocin and Relationship with Prefeeding (PF) Cues Within One Hour Postbirth

Authors: Aleeca Bell, Kristin Rankin, Rosemary White-Traut

We introduce a new coding schema of prefeeding (PF) cues to explore whether fetal exposure to synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) during labor is associated with the infant’s level of prefeeding organization shortly after birth.

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


"Follow my lead": What follows after one child's initiative in preschooler triads in a cooperative task?

Authors: Paula Döge, Heidi Keller

Peer interactions play an important role in children‘s everyday life in institutional daycare. Sustaining social interactions requires skills as attending to the interaction partner(s), mastering turn-taking and prosocial behavior (Fabes, Martin & Hanish, 2011). If cooperation is needed to master a task, these skills become even more important.
Peer triads represent a complex setting of interactional possibilities of all three children (Ishikawa & Hay, 2006). Initiatives constitute starting points to analyze how social interaction is negotiated in a cooperative task. By suggesting how to proceed one child offers opportunities for social practices. The other children’s reactions to the initiative are indicative for the involvement and social structure.
We therefore ask:
(1) To what extent and how are initiatives responded to by the other group members?
(2) Are there differences between boy and girl groups?
(3) What behavioral interaction sequence follows each initiative?

Poster Presentation at ISSBD Biennial Meeting, Edmonton, Canada, 2012


Rationality or Resonance? Eight-month-olds Copy Outcomes Rather Than Actions

Authors: Rebecca G. Sperotto, Elma Hilbrink, Elena Sakkalou, Kate Ellis-Davies, Merideth Gattis

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


Infants' Attention Patterns to People and Objects: Longitudinal Relations to Cortisol and a-Amylase

Authors: Corrine J. Zavala, Kaya de Barbaro, Andrea Chiba, Srikrishna Khandrika, Gedeon O. Deák

The current study aims to relate past animal and adult research on physiologically mediated vigilance to patters of infant attention. Infants at 6, 7 and 12 month performed a gaze- and point-cue following task in a controlled laboratory environment.

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


The Context of Early Helping Behavior

Authors: Audun Dahl, Rachel K. Schuck, C. Jennifer Hung, Alison Hsieh, Joseph J. Campos

Past research tell us little about young children't experiences with helping. The current studies represent two investigations of the context of helping behavior in everyday life during the second year.

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


Domain Differences in Early Prohibitive Interactions

Authors: Audun Dahl, Joseph J. Campos, Elliot Turiel

Are domain differences in social interactions present already in the beginning of the second year, after the onset of walking? Are domain differences limited to verbal justifications provided in response to transgressions, or are such differences also evident in other aspects of prohibitive interactions?

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


Successful Potsdam early intensive home-training for parents of autistic children - Comparison of training and control waiting group

Authors: Helmut Ott, Claire Molnar, Renate Frost, Juliane Höpfner, Asimwe Paehl

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) benefit from a behavior therapeutical early support in combination with an intensive parental home-training (20h/week for 12 month).


The Stability of Infant Preferences for Socially Based Attention: Observational, Experimental and Longitudinal Analysis

Authors: Kate Ellis-Davies, Elena Sakkalou, Nia Fowler, Elma Hilbrink, Merideth Gattis

The current study aims to explre the stability of social preferences across time and context using mother-infant interactions, experimental tasks and parental reports.
39 mothers were recruited during the last trimester of pregnancy for the First Steps Longitudinal Study. All participants were singletons and born at term.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Children's coping strategies and stress regulation during the transition from home to child care

Authors: Tina Eckstein, Lieselotte Ahnert, Gregor Kappler

For some years, students of behavioral development have acknowledged early childhood as a period during which the main coping strategies in life develop in order to regulate negative emotions. Whilst experimental research in laboratories shows whether and how, young children cope with evoked frustrations or irritations, much less is known about how children deal with significant situations that occur naturally in their daily lives. The present study therefore aims to investigate how children cope when they are taken into child care, wondering whether specific behavioral patterns could be identified that aid children in their struggle to cope with the new environment and how these coping strategies influence the physiological stress regulation as reflected in diurnal cortisol patterns.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Assessing Joint Engagement in Toddlers: Observations and Ratings Compared

Authors: Roger Bakeman, Lauren B. Adamson, P. Brooke Nelson, Nevena Dimitrova

Systematic Observation Takes Time:
Observation of children's social behavior - asking trained and reliable observers to assign behavioral codes to event or time intervals - is a common measurement strategy among behavioral scientists.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Educational moments in the early parent-child-dialog - Early Childhood Educational-research on the basis of INTERACT analysis

Authors: Ursula Horsch

Our goal is to conduct comparative educational-research with children with and without disabilities. The research projects Babywatching – infant research (1999-2003), dialogical development in infants (Horsch et al. 2004-2008) as well as the research project early childhood Bildung in hearing impaired children that began in 2008 (Horsch et al. 2008-2011) pursue the questions of early childhood education for the first time within a framework of extensive international studies. They study the connection between the development of relationship and dialog within early parent-child-interactions and the therein possible early educational processes in the age range of zero to two years. We have used the listening age as a basis for children with hearing loss. Therefore the age limit is elevated by up to two years (Horsch, Scheele, Roth, Schulze, Fürst 2009).


Short Communication - Adult gaze influences infant attention and object processing: implications for cognitive neuroscience

Authors: Vincent M. Reid, Tricia Striano

Infants follow others’ gaze toward external objects from early in ontogeny, but whether they use others’ gaze in processing information about objects remains unknown. In Experiment 1, 4-month-old infants viewed a video presentation of an adult gazing toward one of two objects. When presented with the same objects alone a second time, infants looked reliably less at the object to which the adult had directly gazed (cued object). This suggests that the uncued object was perceived as more novel than the object previously cued by the adult’s gaze. In Experiment 2, adult gaze was not directed towards any object. In this control experiment, infants looked at both objects equally in the test phase. These findings show that adult eye gaze biases infant visual attention and information processing. Implications of the paradigm for cognitive neuroscience are presented and the results are discussed in terms of neural structures and change over ontogeny.

Link to Publication at Infancy Research Website

Sympathy Through Affective Perspective Taking and Its Relation to Prosocial Behavior in Toddlers

Authors: Amrisha Vaish, Malinda Carpenter, Michael Tomasello

In most research on the early ontogeny of sympathy, young children are presented with an overtly distressed person and their responses are observed. In the current study, the authors asked whether young children could also sympathize with a person to whom something negative had happened but who was expressing no emotion at all. They showed 18- and 25-month-olds an adult either harming another adult by destroying or taking away her possessions (harm condition) or else doing something similar that did not harm her (neutral condition). The “victim” expressed no emotions in either condition. Nevertheless, in the harm as compared with the neutral condition, children showed more concern and subsequent prosocial behavior toward the victim. Moreover, children’s concerned looks during the harmful event were positively correlated with their subsequent prosocial behavior. Very young children can sympathize with a victim even in the absence of overt emotional signals, possibly by some form of affective perspective taking.

Link to Publication at APA - American Psychological Association

An Augmented Toy and Social Interaction in Children with Autism

Authors: Steve Hinske, William Farr and Nicola Yuill

An Augmented Knights Castle (AKC) play set was adapted so that children with autism can configure programmable elements. This is compared with a non-configurable AKC and when the AKC set is switched-off. When the system is configurable, and when it is switched on, less solitary play and more cooperative play occur. Digital toys, and their configurability are key factors in design for children with autism allowing greater individual control and more socially oriented behaviour. We suggest that tangibles provide a safety net for encouraging social interaction as they allow for a broad range of interaction styles.


Father-infant interaction patterns as precursors of children's later externalizing behavior problems

Authors: P. Trautmann-Villalba, M. Gschwendt, M. H. Schmidt, M. Laucht

This study examined the extend to which fathers' and infants' interaction behavior were related to children's externalizing behavior problems at age 8 and 11 years.


Maternal bond and mother-child interaction in severe postpartum psychiatric disorders: Is there a link?

Authors: P. Trautmann-Villalba, Ch. Hornstein, E. Hohm, E. Rave, S. Wortmann-Fleischer, M. Schwarz

Mothers in the puerperium are vulnerable to a wide spectrum of postpartum psychiatric disorders. One of the central psychological processes of the puerperium is the development of an emotional relationship with the baby. The bond on the infant as well as the interaction with the baby are two aspects of the mother-infant relationship that can be disturbed by mothers with postpartum psychiatric disorders.


Do as I do: 7-month-old infants selectively reproduce others' goal

Authors: J. Kiley Hamlin, Elizabeth V. Hallinan, Amanda L. Woodward

In this study, they tested whether 7-month-old infants would selectively imitate the goal-relevant aspects of an observed action. Infants saw an experimenter perform an action on one of two small toys and then were given the opportunity to act on the toys. Infants viewed actions that were either goal-directed or goal-ambiguous, and that represented either completed or uncompleted goals. Infants reproduced the goal of the experimenter only in those cases where the action was goal-directed, in both the complete and incomplete goal conditions. These results provide the first evidence that infants as young as 7 months of age selectively imitate actions based on their goal-directedness, and that they are able to analyze the goals of even uncompleted actions. Even during the first year of life, infants' sensitivity to goal-directed action is expressed not only in their responses in visual habituation procedures, but also in their overt actions.


Relations between Early Regulatory Disorders and Maternal Play Strategies

Authors: Helene Gudi

Self-regulation, a complex construct, has been defined as the infants' growing capacities to calm on their own, tolerate frustrations, adapt to transitions, initate and cease activities according to situational demands, modulate their state of arousal, and regulate their emotions and behaviors.


Learning from mother's face

Authors: Margarete I. Bolten, Silvia Schneider

An experimental examination of the transgenerational transmission of anxiety.


Partners in Dialogue - A Single Case Study Referring to the Development of Spoken and Sign Language of a Child with CHARGE Syndrome

Authors: Ursula Horsch, Andrea Scheele

The increasing possibilities of medical care effects rare syndromes as reasons for severe disabilities. One of these rare syndromes is CHARGE Syndrome with aprevalence of 1:12 000. In Germany there is no research referring this syndrome.In the following, selected results of a twelve months long single casestudy referring dialogical development between a father and his 2.5 years old son with CHARGE Syndrome are presented. The focus is especially on the development of spoken and sign language within the dialogue between the two partners.

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Dialogue and Education in the Preverbal Period - A Study on the Situation of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants in the Early Educational Process

Authors: Ursula Horsch

From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their child. They introduce as well other people as the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogical way. Proceeding hand in hand they pass on basic dialogical competences. The research project Dialogic Development of Infants (Horsch et al. 2004 – 2007) addresses the broad dialogic development of parents and infants within the first 18 months of life. Our objective is to describe these preverbal dialogs.

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Dialogic Development of Infants Turns as basic patterns of the dialogue in the parent-infant-dyad

Authors: Research Project Horsch et al.

Abstract: From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their child and introduce both - other people and the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogic way.


Unwilling Versus Unable - Infants’ Understanding of Intentional Action

Authors: Tanya Behne, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call and Michael Tomasello

Abstract: Infants experienced a female adult handing them toys. Sometimes, however, the transaction failed, either because the adult was in various ways unwilling to give the toy (e.g., she teased the child with it or played with it herself) or else because she was unable to give it (e.g., she accidentally dropped it). Infants at 9, 12, and 18 months of age reacted with more impatience (e.g., reaching, looking away) when the adult was unwilling to give them the toy than when she was simply unable to give it. Six-month-olds, in contrast, showed no evidence of this differentiation. Because infants’ behavioral responses were appropriately adapted to different kinds of intentional actions, and because the adult’s actions sometimes produced results that did not match her goal (when having accidents or failed attempts), these findings provide especially rich evidence that infants first begin to understand goal-directed action at around 9 months of age.


A micro-analytic evaluation of parents watching a nondiagnostic ultrasound-based video of their fetus at mid-gestation

Authors: Stadlmayr W., Boukydis C., Bichsel S.

How pregnant women in difficult psycho-social circumstances experience foetal ultra-sound exams has been used for counselling1. Few studies have addressed the parental interaction, i.e. the couples’ behaviour while watching their fetus during US examinations.


A Study on Designer’s Mental Process of Information Categorization in the Early Stages of Design

Authors: Jieun Kim, Carole Bouchard, Jean-Francois Omhover, Ameziane Aoussat, Laurence Moscardini, Aline Chevalier, Charles Tijus, Francois Buron

Paper at ISADR (International Association of Societies of Design Research) 2009, Seoul, Korea
This research explores how designers mentally categorize design information during early sketching in the early stages of design. With the purpose of identifying various types of mental information and related cognitive operations, the empirical study has been conducted with 8 experienced product designers through the concurrent verbalization. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the results is also presented.


Context dependent gender role self-concept activation

Authors: Ursula Athenstaedt

Abstract: The research investigated changes of gender role self-concept (GRS) in dependence of situational aspects and, additionally, its relevance for communication behavior. GRS is defined as the amount of self-ascribed attributes and behaviors that are assumed to be more typical for men or women...


ADHD Symptoms, Inhibitory Control and Parenting among Mothers of Children with and without ADHD

Authors: Iris Shilo and Anat Zaidman-Zait

Parenting is one of the complex tasks of adulthood which requires cognitive, emotional, and behavioral endeavor. Belsky’s process model identifies three domains of determinants of parental functioning: parents’ personal psychological resources, contextual sources of stress and support, and child’s characteristics.

Recently there has been an increased research on parental cognitive and affective functioning as determinants of parenting behaviors. Parental ADHD symptoms are related to a broad range of parenting difficulties. In the context of high hereditary of ADHD, it is probable that among parents with elevated symptoms of ADHD, parenting challenges stem from the presence of ADHD symptoms in their children.

Inhibitory control is critical to parents’ controlled response to their child’s misbehaviors, to hold back from intervening or hovering, and suppress interference in order to maintain child focus. Inhibitory control is one of the ADHD-related core deficits. Hence, it might be an important capacity in linking parental ADHD and parenting impairments.

In addition, the difficulties in inhibitory control that might make it difficult for parents to remain calm and consistent in their approaches to child behavior, would be even more pronounce in the context of parenting a child with ADHD.

Interacción humanos-computadoras y factores humanos

Generation WhatsApp: inter-brain synchrony during face-to-face and texting communication

Authors: Schwartz, L., Levy, J., Hayut, O. et al. (2024)


Texting has become one of the most prevalent ways to interact socially, particularly among youth; however, the effects of text messaging on social brain functioning are unknown. Guided by the biobehavioral synchrony frame, this pre-registered study utilized hyperscanning EEG to evaluate interbrain synchrony during face-to-face versus texting interactions. Participants included 65 mother-adolescent dyads observed during face-to-face conversation compared to texting from different rooms. Results indicate that both face-to-face and texting communication elicit significant neural synchrony compared to surrogate data, demonstrating for the first time brain-to-brain synchrony during texting. Direct comparison between the two interactions highlighted 8 fronto-temporal interbrain links that were significantly stronger in the face-to-face interaction compared to texting. Our findings suggest that partners co-create a fronto-temporal network of inter-brain connections during live social exchanges. The degree of improvement in the partners' right-frontal-right-frontal connectivity from texting to the live social interaction correlated with greater behavioral synchrony, suggesting that this well-researched neural connection may be specific to face-to-face communication. Our findings suggest that while technology-based communication allows humans to synchronize from afar, face-to-face interactions remain the superior mode of communication for interpersonal connection. We conclude by discussing the potential benefits and drawbacks of the pervasive use of texting, particularly among youth.

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Eye movement analysis of reading from computer displays, eReaders and printed books

Authors: Daniela Zambarbieri, Elena Carniglia

To compare eye movements during silent reading of three eBooks and a printed book. The three different eReading tools were a desktop PC, iPad tablet and Kindle eReader.

Video-oculographic technology was used for recording eye movements.
In the case of reading from the computer display the recordings were made by a video camera placed below the computer screen, whereas for reading from the iPad tablet, eReader and printed book the recording system was worn by the subject and had two cameras: one for recording the movement of the eyes and the other for recording the scene in front of the subject.

Data analysis provided quantitative information in terms of number of fixations, their duration, and the direction of the movement, the latter to distinguish between fixations and regressions. Mean fixation duration was different only in reading from the computer display, and was similar for the Tablet, eReader and printed book. The percentage of regressions with respect to the total amount of fixations was comparable for eReading tools and the printed book.


The analysis of eye movements during reading an eBook from different eReading tools suggests that subjects’ reading behaviour is similar to reading from a printed book.
The study was published in The Journal of the College of Optometrists - Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics, 2012.


Apply Web-based Analytic Tool and Eye Tracking to Study the Consumer Preference of DSLR Cameras

Authors: Jih-Syongh Lin, Shih-Yen Huang

Consumer’s preferences and purchase motivation of products often lie in the purchasing behaviors generated by the synthetic evaluation of form features, color, function, and price of products. If an enterprise can bring these criteria under control, they can grasp the opportunities in the market place. In this study, the product form, brand, and prices of five DSLR digital cameras of Nikon, Lumix, Pentax, Sony, and Olympus were investigated from the image evaluation and eye tracking. The web-based 2-dimensional analytical tool was used to present information on three layers. Layer A provided information of product form and brand name; Layer B for product form, brand name, and product price for the evaluation of purchase intention (X axis) and product form attraction (Y axis). On Layer C, Nikon J1 image samples of five color series were presented for the evaluation of attraction and purchase intention. The study results revealed that, among five Japanese brands of digital cameras, LUMIX GF3 is most preferred and serves as the major competitive product, with a product price of US$630. Through the visual focus of eye-tracking, the lens, curvatured handle bar, the curve part and shuttle button above the lens as well as the flexible flash of LUMIX GF3 are the parts that attract the consumer’s eyes. From the verbal descriptions, it is found that consumers emphasize the functions of 3D support lens, continuous focusing in shooting video, iA intelligent scene mode, and all manual control support. In the color preference of Nikon J1, the red and white colors are most preferred while pink is least favored. These findings can serve as references for designers and marketing personnel in new product design and development. The study was published in the International Journal of Business Research and Management. Vol. (4), Issue (4), 2013.


Driving behavior pattern analysis for elderly people

Authors: Guan-Lun Chen, Jia-Yuarn Guo, Chia-Tso Huang

The study aims at evaluating factors associated with driving patterns and self-reported driving difficulty, with particular attention to vision and cognitive impairment. This study uses cross-sectional data from 10 elderly participants (65 years old or older) and 10 young participants along with simulation program, and comparison is by putting on mobile eye tractor. Neurocognitive tests, driving simulation, and road tests provide complementary sources of evidence to evaluate driver safety. No single test is sufficient to determine who should drive and who should not. Finally, we compare the concentration ability and reaction ability between elderly and young participants.


Casestudy: Portable lab - know-how in a briefcase / MyBOOM relies on Mangold technology

Authors: Thorsten Voß

Why Westphalian Internet service provider MyBOOM relies on Mangold technology.


When the Fingers do the Talking: A Study of Group Participation with Varying Constrains to a Tabletop Interface

Authors: Paul Marshall, Eva Hornecker, Richard Morris, Nick Sheep Dalton and Yvonne Rogers

A user study is presented that investigates how different configurations of input can influence equity of participation around a tabletop interface. Groups of three worked on a design task requiring negotiation in four interface conditions that varied the number (all members can act or only one) and type (touch versus mice) of input. Our findings show that a multi-touch surface increases physical interaction equity and perceptions of dominance, but does not affect levels of verbal participation. Dominant people still continue to talk the most, while quiet ones remain quiet. Qualitative analyses further revealed how other factors can affect how participants contribute to the task. The findings are discussed in terms of how the design of the physicaltechnological set-up can affect the desired form of collaboration.


Behavioural Analysis of the Tower Controller Activity

Authors: Ella Pinska and Marc Bourgois

In this paper we report on an initial study concerning the importance of direct observation for control tower activity. The results confirm that looking outside of the window is the most frequent and longest activity of the tower controller, occuoying him for roughly 30-40% of the time. Two other significant activities were scanning radar image and strips. The change of attention between these three information sources is frequent but not in a defined order.


Virtual cognitive model for Miyazawa Kenji based on speech and facial images recognition

Authors: Hamido Fujita, Jun Hakura and Masaki Kurematsu

In this paper we a representing a virtual interactive model based on cognitive model of Miyazawa Kenji. We created a computer model based on cognitive thinking of Kenji literature on story telling. The user can interact in real time with Virtual Kenji. The facial gestures been collected and analyzed through Motion capture system consists of six camera. These six cameras set to collect all emotional facial gestures of people who read and practice an recorded assigned Kenji manuscripts for experiment. Each person has 50 markers of 5 mm size attached to all parts of the face (lips, mouth, eyebrow, moustache, eyelash, forehead). The emotional linkage between these facials parts and cognitive emotion been analyzed and recorded. We have proposed a database; called as Facial recognition database based on FACS model, Also we have correspondingly, speech synthesis part that would analyze the emotional part of human speech. These synthesized two parts are been re-constructed on hologram that represents the cognitively the character of Kenji virtual model who has a face with gestures harmonize with a speech and facial images generated by the system. Also, the system interacts with the human user based on collected observed response on human user and inference by the system in real time.


Labeling of Gestures in SmartKom − Concept of the Coding System

Authors: Silke Steininger

The SmartKom project is concerned with the development of an intelligent computer−user interface that allows a user to communicate almost naturally with an adaptive and self−explanatory dialogue system. Among other things the system will be able to analyze the gestural input of the user. To train a gesture analyzer, data is required, preferably realistic data. One of the tasks of our institute in the project is the collection and annotation of such data. Since the machine does not yet exist the data collection is done with help of so called Wizard of Oz−experiments: The system is simulated by humans (the "wizards") and the subjects are made believe that they interact with an existing machine. We record the subjects (video and audio) as they solve short tasks. The recordings are labeled off−line with respect to the gestures that the subjects used.


Evaluating Software Support for Video Data Capture and Analysis in Collaborative Design Studies

Authors: Linda Candy, Zafer Bilda, Mary Lou Maher and John S. Gero

In order to understand the implications of introducing new digital tools into design practice, research into how designers work collaboratively using both traditional and digital media is being undertaken. For that purpose it is necessary to gather large quantities of empirical data and this poses problems as to how to manage and analyse that data effectively. This paper describes the evaluation of a software system for capturing and analysing video data in the context of collaborative design studies. These studies will generate large amounts of data and support for its management and analysis is vital to the successful completion of the work. In order to find a match to our specific requirements, we conducted a survey from which the software application, INTERACT was identified. A study of its use and suitability was carried out in conditions as near as possible to the intended research. We found that INTERACT met our requirements and provided significant efficiency gains for the analysis of the data.


Comparing Collaborative Design Behavior in Remote Sketching and 3D Virtual Worlds

Authors: Mary Lou Maher, Zafer Bilda and David Marchant

The aim of this study is to compare two architects’ collaborative design behaviour while using a shared whiteboard application in one design session and a 3D virtual world in a second design session. Our preliminary analysis shows that designers spend more time discussing design ideas while sketching and more time creating the design model and inspecting spatial relationships while in a 3D virtual world.


Example using the MangoldVision Eye Tracker in Augmented Reality Based E-Commerce Platform

Authors: Min-Chai Hsieh and Hao-Chiang Lin

This Taiwanese presentation shows an example of using the MangoldVision Eye Tracker in studies on an augmented reality based e-commerce platform.


Studies on Visual Illusion Figures using the MangoldVision Eye Tracker

Authors: Mei-Chi Chen and Hao-Chiang Lin

This Taiwanese presentation shows an application of the MangoldVision Eye Tracker in psychological studies on Visual Illusion Figures.

Fundamentos de estudios sobre el comportamiento

Proceeding studies on behavior - not only a challenge for professional tools

Authors: Pascal Mangold

The following insights are based on my company’s long term empirical experience as system developer in the field of behavioral research. The paper discusses several aspects of data collection and analysis in day to day studies on behavior. It points out the necessity of using specialized software tools in behavioral research. It shows why video recordings are very beneficial for analysis and not only for documentation purpose. It discusses the advantages of using structured coding schemas instead of taking notes only. Finally the possibilities of the INTERACT software tool environment are sketched.


Practice Based Research: A Guide

Authors: Linda Candy

Abstract: Practice-based Research is an original investigation undertaken in order to gain new knowledge partly by means of practice and the outcomes of that practice. In a doctoral thesis, claims of originality and contribution to knowledge may be demonstrated through creative outcomes in the form of designs, music, digital media, performances and exhibitions. Whilst the significance and context of the claims are described in words, a full understanding can only be obtained with direct reference to the outcomes.

Estudios sobre animales

Planning abilities of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) in tool-using contexts

Authors: Musgrave, S., Koni, D., Morgan, D. et al. (2023)


Planning is a type of problem solving in which a course of future action is devised via mental computation. Potential advantages of planning for tool use include reduced effort to gather tools, closer alignment to an efficient tool design, and increased foraging efficiency. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) in the Goualougo Triangle use a variety of different types of tools. We hypothesized that procurement strategy (brought to the termite nest, manufactured or acquired at the termite nest, or borrowed from others) reflects planning for current needs, with tool transport behavior varying by tool type and by age and sex class. It is also possible that chimpanzees anticipate the need for tools at future times, which would be evidenced by transporting multiple tool types for a sequential task. One year of video recordings at termite nests were systematically screened for tool procurement; data comprised 299 tool procurement events across 66 chimpanzees. In addition, we screened video recordings of leaf sponging and honey gathering, which resulted in another 38 procurement events. Fishing probes, which are typically used during a single visit, were typically transported to termite nests, while puncturing tools, which are durable and remain on site, were more often acquired at termite nests. Most tools transported in multiples were fishing probes, perhaps in anticipation that a single probe might not last through an entire foraging bout or might be transferred to another chimpanzee. We further documented that chimpanzees transported tool sets, comprising multiple different tool types used in sequence. Mature chimpanzees transported tools more often than did immatures. These observations suggest that chimpanzees plan tool use flexibly, reflecting the availability of raw materials and the likelihood that specific tool types will be needed for particular tasks. Developmental studies and further integration of behavioral, spatial, and archaeological data will help to illuminate the decision making and time depth of planning associated with tool technologies in living primates and hominin ancestors.

Keywords: cognition, tool use, tool manufacture, tool set, termite fish

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Systematic Evaluation of Different Fresh Cow Monitoring Procedures

Authors: König F, Hancock A, Wunderlich C, Klawitter M, Breuer T, Simoni A, Weimar K, Drillich M, Iwersen M. (2023)


Establishing fresh cow monitoring procedures is considered beneficial for cow health, welfare, and productivity. However, they are time consuming and require the cows to be locked up, which restricts their natural behavior. In this study, different fresh cow monitoring procedures were evaluated. Two experiments were conducted to determine: (1) the duration of various examinations and treatments; (2) the time cows remain locked up in headlocks; and (3) the proportion of examination and treatment times relative to the total headlock time. In advance, standard operating procedures were established. Three veterinarians conducted the examinations and treatments based on changes in milk yield, clinical symptoms, and alarms by an accelerometer system. The headlock time was evaluated for three workflow strategies, which differed in the order of examinations and treatments. To determine the duration, cameras were installed, and the video footage was analyzed. The examinations lasted between 1 and 227 s, and the cows were locked up in headlocks between 0.01 and 1.76 h. The lock-up times differed significantly among the three strategies, as well as the proportion. This study provides information that can be used as a basis for the development of time-efficient strategies, and to minimize the impact on cows’ time budgets.

Keywords: dairy cow; animal welfare; animal management; precision livestock management

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The impact of cage dividers on mouse aggression, dominance and hormone levels

Authors: Streiff C., Herrera A., Voelkl B., Palme R., Würbel H., Novak J. (2024)


Home cage aggression in group-housed male mice is a major welfare concern and may compromise animal research. Conventional cages prevent flight or retreat from sight,increasing the risk that agonistic encounters will result in injury. Moreover, depending onsocial rank, mice vary in their phenotype, and these effects seem highly variable and dependent on the social context. Interventions that reduce aggression, therefore, may reduce not only injuries and stress, but also variability between cage mates. Here we housed male mice (Balb/c and SWISS, group sizes of three and five) with or without partial cage dividers for two months. Mice were inspected for wounding weekly and home cages were recorded during housing and after 6h isolation housing, to assess aggression and assign individual social ranks. Fecal boli and fur were collected to quantify steroid levels. We found no evidence that the provision of cage dividers improves the welfare of group housed male mice; The prevalence of injuries and steroid levels was similar between the two housing conditions and aggression was reduced only in Balb/c strain. However, mice housed with cage dividers developed less despotic hierarchies and had more stable social ranks. We also found a relationship between hormone levels and social rank depending on housing type. Therefore, addition of cage dividers may play a role in stabilizing social ranks and modulating the activation of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG)axes, thus reducing phenotypicvariability between mice of different ranks.

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Rearing of female calves and young cattle in agricultural enterprises Part III Normal behaviour of calves in motherless, intensive rearing

Authors: Schuldt A., and Dinse R. (2023)

The studies on the behaviour of female German Holstein calves in intensive off-cow breeding were carried out in an agricultural enterprise in Mecklen-burg-Vorpommern. The calves were kept in hutches with a run to the end of week 4 at the latest. The calves were moved from week 3 to subsequent group housing in a pen with a litter-covered lying area and concrete running area. The maximum age difference within a group was 4 weeks. The calves were reared with a maximum daily allowance of 12 L CMR-feed up to day 49 and weaned on day 106. Over the entire feeding period, CMR powder (50% skim milk fraction) was used at a concentration of 160 g/L water. Hay and dry total mixed ration (TMR) were used as supplementary feed provided fresh daily ad libitum in racks and troughs with TMR gradually replacing the dry TMR during weaning. The calf pen was fitted with elements to investigate which activity options were preferred by the animals. A tyre freely hanging on a rope with a ball (ball), a cattle brush for calves (brush) and board with four chains (chains) were in-stalled in the pen. It was also investigated whether the calves accepted dum-my teats. The behaviour of the calves was recorded continuously over 24 hours with video cameras from the day they moved into the barn to the day they moved out. In total, data from 13 calves in five rounds over 212 days with 4,569.5 hours of video recordings were coded with the Interact program from Mangold and statistically processed and analysed by week of life (week 3–7 and week 8–15) or day of life (day 50 to 105) with Interact and Excel 2019 MSO from Microsoft (Version 2207). The analysis of behaviour with maximum allowance (12 L CMR-feed per animal up to day 49, n = 9 calves) was carried out for the functional areas rest, food and water-intake, social behaviour (calf–calf contacts), and ‘other activi-ties’, which include exploratory, play, locomotion and elimination behaviours. Exploration (licking of objects) and play were coded, while locomotion (stand-ing without activity, slow and fast running, jumping, galloping) and elimination were calculated from the difference in the duration of the activities and the behaviour coded in this phase and summarised as locomotion behaviour. The use of toys, visits without CMR-feed-intake and sucking activities (cross-sucking, sucking on dummy teats) were assessed separately. From the studies, an ethogram for calves in off-cow rearing can be derived: Circadian rhythm Calves develop a distinct circadian rhythm that underlies almost all behav-iours. The behaviour at night, that is, from 12 midnight to about 6:00 a.m., alternates between long resting phases with brief wake phases for defecation and urination as well as the intake of CMR-feed, supplementary feed and/or water. During the day, from 6:00 a.m. to 12 midnight, the calves alternate between active and resting phases, which are considerably shorter than over-night. Resting behaviour The calves seek out protected places to rest. After a brief interruption, they often lay down in the same place where they had stood up. Young calves rest daily for 14 to 18 hours for an average of 30 to 45 minutes during the day and for 60 to 180 minutes at night. In the mornings and evenings the resting times are somewhat shorter than over midday. Feeding behaviour The sucking behaviour at the dispensing station corresponds to the natural sucking at a cow in terms of the posture, bunting and tail movements as well as the mean number of four to five meals per day. The individual meals last on average four to six minutes with a rising trend. Visits to the dispensing station without milk intake occur briefly up to day 49 and last less than one minute on average. In the week when the calves are adjusting to the free feed-intake, up to four of these blind visits per animal and day are tolerable, thereafter a daily average of one to three up to weaning. In the weaning phase slightly longer blind visits in an increasing number can be considered normal if they do not significantly exceed a daily average of 10 per animal. Up to the end of week 7, calves frequently ingest supplementary feed over the course of the day with only a short eating duration. The number increases to about 20 meals per day and the duration to about three minutes per meal. The calves drink water from the start for about one minute and the frequency and duration increase with the intake of supplementary feed. Individual animals have a distinct sucking need that cannot be satisfied through the feed-intake even with the highest CMR-feed-allowances. If these are isolated cases, cross-sucking of another calf can be tolerated. Sucking calves from a maternal sucking family should be excluded from breeding, however. Dummy teats are accepted by the calves but cannot prevent cross-sucking and are used less than a moveable toy. Social behaviour Calves smell and lick each other, play together and rest closely with one an-other. Hierarchical disputes are not observed before weaning. There were no signs in the behaviour of the young calves that indicate that the calves are stressed by the absence of the mother–child relationship. Locomotion and play behaviour Calves run, jump and gallop around, often together and encouraging each other. Intense activities are often observed in the evening hours. Playful headbutting starts as early as week 2. Calves prefer to use moveable objects that they can make swing as toys. These toys are licked, sucked or sniffed, often by several calves at the same time. Locomotion and play behaviour can be summarised as ‘other behav-iours’ to evaluate the well-being of calves. The daily average of the percent-age of the active time spent on these behaviours should be at least 80% up to weaning. When weaning, the percentage decreases because of the increas-ing intake of supplementary feed but should not be less than 60% of the ac-tivities. Weaning Moderate weaning is recommended from the perspective of animal behav-iour so that the animals rest for long periods, only make few unrewarded visits to the dispensing station and are ensured of having a high supplementary feed-intake upon weaning. Because the maximum milk replacer allowance must be provided up to day 49, this results in a recommended weaning age of at least 105 days.

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Effects of sounds of different quality on the behaviour and heart beat parameters of goats

Authors: Johns, J., Patt, A., Hillmann, E. (2015)

In alpine regions, bells are used to relocate free-ranging grazers like cows and goats. Considering that goats have a well-developed hearing capacity, sounds (e.g. a chime of a bell) mayact as stressors depending on their characteristics. The aim of this study was to test whethera non-uniform sound (chime of a bell) varying in amplitude and frequency and a uniform sound (sinusoidal tone) with continuously increasing amplitude and constant frequency lead to stress responses in terms of behaviour and heart beat. Twenty-nine goats were tested individually in a test arena in two sessions, each lasting five consecutive days with one trial per day. A day before the first trial, reference values were collected without playback. During the following five trials, playbacks were conducted. Differences in behaviour and heart beat parameters between test and reference values were analysed by using generalised linear mixed-effects models. During the first trial, the relative feeding duration was decreased and the relative alertness duration was increased during both stimuli, but more when goats were exposed to the non-uniform than the uniform sound. For both stimuli, the relative feeding duration increased (trial × stimulus: P = 0.05) and the relative alertness duration decreased (trial × stimulus: P = 0.004) from the first to the fifth trial but returned to the levels of the reference values sooner when goats were exposed to the uniform than the non-uniform sound. Cardiac activity was not affected by the stimuli. Altogether, the chime of a bell led to higher behavioural arousal than the uniform sinusoidal tone, indicating a potential of the chime to being more aversive to goats than a uniform sound. With repeated exposure to the stimuli, goats habituated to both stimuli, but habituation was faster to the sinusoidal sound than to the chime of a bell. Free-ranging goats in alpine regions usually are equipped with bells 24 h a day during the summer season. Thus, the question arises whether the long-term exposure to the chime of a bell might have negative effects on animal welfare.

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Does nest size matter to laying hens?

Authors: Ringgenberg, N., Fröhlich, E., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Würbel, H., Roth, B. (2014)

Laying hens in loose housing systems have access to group-nests which provide space for several hens at a time to lay their eggs. They are thus rather large and the trend in the industry is to further increase the size of these nests. Though practicality is important for the producer, group-nests should also cater to the egg-laying behaviour of hens to promote good welfare. One of the factors playing a role in the attractiveness of a nest is the amount of enclosure: hens prefer more enclosure when having a choice between different nest types. The aim of this study was to investigate if hens prefer smaller group-nests to lay their eggs given that they may seem more enclosed than larger nests.

The relative preference of groups of laying hens for two nest sizes – 0.43 m2 vs. 0.86 m2 – was tested in a free-access choice test. The experiment was conducted in two consecutive trials with 100 hens each. They were housed from 18 to 36 weeks of age in five groups of 20 animals and had access to two commercial group-nests differing in internal size only. We counted eggs daily as a measure of nest preference. At 28 and 36 weeks of age, videos were taken of the pens and inside the nests on one day during the first 5 h of lights-on. The nest videos were used to record the number of hens per nest and their behaviour with a 10 min scan sampling interval. The pen videos were observed continuously to count the total number of nest visits per nest and to calculate the duration of nest visits of five focal hens per pen.

We found a relative preference for the small nest as more eggs, fewer nest visits per egg and longer nest visit durations were recorded for that nest. In addition, more hens – including more sitting hens – were in the small nests during the main egg-laying period, while the number of standing hens did not differ. These observations indicate that even though both nests may have been explored to a similar extent, the hens preferred the small nest for egg-laying.

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Insect prey characteristics affecting regional variation in chimpanzee tool use

Authors: Sanz, C., Deblauwe, I., Tagg, N., Morgan, D. (2014)

It is an ongoing interdisciplinary pursuit to identify the factors shaping the emergence and maintenance of tool technology. Field studies of several primate taxa have shown that tool using behaviors vary within and between populations. While similarity in tools over spatial and temporal scales may be the product of socially learned skills, it may also reflect adoption of convergent strategies that are tailored to specific prey features. Much has been claimed about regional variation in chimpanzee tool use, with little attention to the ecological circumstances that may have shaped such differences. This study examines chimpanzee tool use in termite gathering to evaluate the extent to which the behavior of insect prey may dictate chimpanzee technology. More specifically, we conducted a systematic comparison of chimpanzee tool use and termite prey between the Goualougo Triangle in the Republic of Congo and the La Belgique research site in southeast Cameroon. Apes at both of these sites are known to use tool sets to gather several species of termites. We collected insect specimens and measured the characteristics of their nests. Associated chimpanzee tool assemblages were documented at both sites and video recordings were conducted in the Goualougo Triangle. Although Macrotermitinae assemblages were identical, we found differences in the tools used to gather these termites. Based on measurements of the chimpanzee tools and termite nests at each site, we concluded that some characteristics of chimpanzee tools were directly related to termite nest structure. While there is a certain degree of uniformity within approaches to particular tool tasks across the species range, some aspects of regional variation in hominoid technology are likely adaptations to subtle environmental differences between populations or groups. Such microecological differences between sites do not negate the possibility of cultural transmission, as social learning may be required to transmit specific behaviors among individuals.

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Investigation of distances covered by fattening pigs measured with VideoMotionTracker

Authors: Julia Brendle, Steffen Hoy

The investigation was carried out with altogether 220 pigs kept in groups of 6 or 12. Every pen was equipped with perforated floor. Water and the in-house compound feed with different elements depending on the fattening period were available ad libitum during the whole fattening period. At the beginning of each fattening period all pigs were weighed and the individual rank place was calculated based on 72 h continuous infrared video-recordings. At the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the fattening period the distances covered by focus animals during 24 h were measured using the VideoMotionTracker (VMT) software tool (Mangold). The VideoMotionTracker is a software solution to allow tracking animals on a video recording using the PC mouse or a touch-screen terminal to measure distances that were covered. This measurements on pigs resulted in highly significant differences between the covered distances at the different fattening stages (at the beginning: 582 m; in the middle: 391 m; at the end: 261 m on average). Fattening pigs kept in groups of 12 each covered longer distances during the fattening period compared with pigs kept in groups of 6 (459 m versus 333 m). The differences between the means were highly significant (p < 0.001). On average female pigs covered a longer distance than castrated male pigs (443 m versus 349 m). The factor rank position did not show any significant influence on the covered distance of each focus animal. Pigs with high rank positions on average covered 399 m whereas pigs with low rank positions covered with 393 m a marginally shorter distance. Furthermore the interaction between fattening period and rank position was examined but did not show any significance either. The influence of the factor pen within group size was highly significant (p < 0.001) and the parameters live weight and covered distances were negatively correlated.


Effect of group size, phase of fattening period, gender and rank position on distances covered by fattening pigs

Authors: Julia Brendle, Steffen Hoy

Poster Presentation at ISAE 2012, Vienna, Austria


Tool Use in Animals

Authors: C. Sanz, J. Call, C. Boesch

Capuchin Monkeys cracking nuts with stones or chimpanzees catching termites with sticks. These are examples of animals that use tools inventively – mostly to tap into food sources. The book, “Tool Use in Animals”, offers the interdisciplinary insight into the topic of tool use in animals, recently published by Cambridge Publishing House.   

The book examines the cognitive abilities and environmental factors that have shaped the tool development and tool use in animals. What makes this book extremely special: The animals were not observed in laboratory studies, but in the wild. Thus, the publication is a fascinating read and is not only aimed at scientific readership.   

“Tool Use in Animals” presents contributions from several leading authors from psychology, biology and anthropology. The editors are Dr. Crickette Sanz, anthropologist at Washington University, Dr. Josep Call, psychologist at Max-Planck-Institute and Professor Christophe Boesch, director of the Max-Planck-Instituts for Evolutionary Anthropology.   

Dr. Crickette Sanz is also a member of the Mangold Scientific Council and engaged in the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project which is dedicated to research and preservation of great apes in the Congo.

Contextualised behavioural measurements of personality differences obtained in behavioural tests and social observations in adult capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)

Authors: Jana Uher, Elsa Addessi, Elisabetta Visalberghi

We applied a new framework for behavioural research on personality differences in 26 adult tufted capuchin monkeys. Using the Behavioural Repertoire x Environmental Situations Approach, we generated systematically 20 non-lexical emic personality constructs that have high ecological validity for this species. For construct operationalisation, we obtained 146 contextualised behavioural measures repeatedly in 15 experimental situations and 2 group situations using computerised and video-assisted methods. A complete repetition after a 2–3-week break within a 60-day period yielded significant test–retest reliability from individual-oriented and variable-oriented viewpoints at different levels of aggregation. In accordance with well-established findings on cross-situational consistency, internal consistency was only moderate. This new and important finding highlights fundamental differences between behavioural approaches and judgment-based approaches to personality differences.

Link to "Journal of Research in Personality" >>>

Aping expressions: Chimpanzees produce distinct laugh types when responding to laughter of others

Authors: M. Davila Ross, B. Allcock, C. Thomas, K.A. Bard

Humans have the ability to replicate the emotional expressions of others even when they undergo different emotions. Such distinct responses of expressions, especially positive expressions, play a central role in everyday social communication of humans and may give the responding individuals important advantages in cooperation and communication.


Responding to inequities: Gorillas try to maintain their competitive advantage during play fights

Authors: E.J.C. van Leeuwen, E. Zimmermann, M. Davila Ross

Human respond to unfair situations in various ways. Experimental research has revealed that non-human species also respond to unequal situations in the form of inequity aversions when they have the disadvantage.


A dual function of echolocation: bats use echolocation calls to identify familiar and unfamiliar individuals

Authors: Silke L. Voigt-Heucke, Michael Taborsky, Dina K.N. Dechmann

Bats use echolocation for orientation during foraging and navigation. However, it has been suggested that echolocation calls may also have a communicative function, for instance between roost members. In principle, this seems possible because echolocation calls are species specific and known to differ between the sexes, and between colonies and individuals for some species. We performed playback experiments with lesser bulldog bats, Noctilio albiventris, to which we presented calls of familiar/unfamiliar conspecifics, cohabitant/noncohabitant heterospecifics and ultrasonic white noise as a control. Bats reacted with a complex repertoire of social behaviours and the intensity of their response differed significantly between stimulus categories. Stronger reactions were shown towards echolocation calls of unfamiliar conspecifics than towards heterospecifics and white noise. To our knowledge, this is the first time that bats have been found to react to echolocation calls with a suite of social behaviours. Our results also provide the first experimental evidence for acoustical differentiation by bats between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics, and of heterospecifics. Analysis of echolocation calls confirmed significant individual differences between echolocation calls. In addition, we found a nonsignificant trend towards group signatures in echolocation calls of N. albiventris. We suggest that echolocation calls used during orientation may also communicate species identity, group affiliation and individual identity. Our study highlights the communicative potential of sonar signals that have previously been categorized as cues in animal social systems.   

Genetic Architecture of Tameness in a Rat Model of Animal Domestication

Authors: Frank W. Albert

Abstract of the main publication: A common feature of domestic animals is tameness—i.e., they tolerate and are unafraid of human presence and handling. To gain insight into the genetic basis of tameness and aggression, we studied an intercross between two lines of rats (Rattus norvegicus) selected over.60 generations for increased tameness and increased aggression against humans, respectively. We measured 45 traits, including tameness and aggression, anxiety-related traits, organ weights, and levels of serum components in .700 rats from an intercross population. Using 201 genetic markers, we identified two significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) for tameness. These loci overlap with QTL for adrenal gland weight and for anxiety-related traits and are part of a five-locus epistatic network influencing tameness. An additional QTL influences the occurrence of white coat spots, but shows no significant effect on tameness. The loci described here are important starting points for finding the genes that cause tameness in these rats and potentially in domestic animals in general.

Link to Genetics website >>>

Rapid facial mimicry in orangutan play

Authors: Marina Davila Ross, Susanne Menzler and Elke Zimmermann

Emotional contagion enables individuals to experience emotions of others. This important empathic phenomenon is closely linked to facial mimicry, where facial displays evoke the same facial expressions in social partners. In humans, facial mimicry can be voluntary or involuntary, whereby its latter mode can be processed as rapid as within or at 1 s. Thus far, studies have not provided evidence of rapid involuntary facial mimicry in animals.

This study assessed whether rapid involuntary facial mimicry is present in orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus; NZ25) for their open-mouth faces (OMFs) during everyday dyadic play. Results clearly indicated that orangutans rapidly mimicked OMFs of their playmates within or at 1 s. Our study revealed the first evidence on rapid involuntary facial mimicry in non-human mammals. This finding suggests that fundamental building blocks of positive emotional contagion and empathy that link to rapid involuntary facial mimicry in humans have homologues in non-human primates.


Responding to inequities: gorillas try to maintain their competitive advantage during play fights

Authors: Edwin Van Leeuwen, Elke Zimmermann and Marina Davila Ross

Abstract: Humans respond to unfair situations in various ways. Experimental research has revealed that non-human species also respond to unequal situations in the formof inequity aversions when they have the disadvantage. The current study focused on play fights in gorillas to explore for the first time, to our knowledge, if/how non-human species respond to inequities in natural social settings. Hitting causes a naturally occurring inequity among individuals and here it was specifically assessed how the hitters and their partners engaged in play chases that followed the hitting. The results of this work showed that the hitters significantly more often moved first to run away immediately after the encounter than their partners. These findings provide evidence that non-human species respond to inequities by trying to maintain their competitive advantages. We conclude that non-human primates, like humans, may show different responses to inequities and that they may modify them depending on if they have the advantage or the disadvantage.


Kin recognition in the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus)

Authors: Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover / Lab course: Experimental Behavioural Biology

Kin recognition is a prerequisite for kin selection. Kin selection has been theorized as a driving force behind the evolution of group-living in primates. vocal recognition of kin has been observed in haplorhine primates (Rendall, 2004) and in the diurnal, gregarious strepsirrhine, Lemur catta (Nunn, 2000). Much less research has been done on the vocalizations of the nocturnal, solitarily foraging strepsirrhines. Our study is the first to test for vocal recognition of kin in a nongregarious strepsirrhine. Mouse lemurs are small-boiled, nocturnal, solitarily foraging strepsirrhine primates that have dispersed social networks (Braune et al., 2008). We have testet whether M. murinus females respond differently to and whistles, an alarm call (Braune et al., 2008), and trills, advertisement calls, given by their father and by unrelated males.


Food preference in two mouse lemur species (Microcebus lehilahytsara & Microcebus murinus)

Authors: Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover / Lab course: Experimental Behavioural Biology

Two different species of mouse lemurs (Microcebus lehilahytsara and M. murinus) were tested for their food preferences. Four different food items were presented in a two paired choice test to find the most adequate reward for upcoming behavioural tests.


Acoustic cues of caller identity and affect intensity in communication calls of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri)

Authors: Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover / Lab course: Experimental Behavioural Biology

Comparative studies on the vocalisation of humans and animals have shown that structural and temporal variations in communication sounds serve several functions, such as to reliably transmit the affective state and individuality of the sender. These variations within a call type are named acoustic cues and are ghoutght to be important factors in the communication process of social living animals. In the present study, we have examined attention calls of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) for acoustic cues conveying the affective state and/or individuality of the sender. Any general physiological activation of the nervous system in a tree shrew leads to defined changes in its behavioural patterns. When aroused, it raises its tail/ruffles its tail hair and sometimes utters attention calls (von Holst, 1977). Tree shrews utter these calls in their natural habitat, when they are confronted with new environmental stimuli (Emmons, 2000).


Personality in the behaviour of great apes - temporal stability, cross-situational consistency

Authors: Jana Uher, Jens B. Asendorpf and Josep Call

Using a multidisciplinary approach, the present study complements ethological behaviour measurements with basic theoretical concepts, methods and approaches of the personality psychological trait paradigm. Its adoptability and usefulness for animal studies is tested exemplarily on a sample of 20 zoo-housed great apes (five of each of the following species): bonobos, Pan paniscus; chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes verus; gorillas, Gorilla gorilla gorilla; and orang-utans, Pongo pygmaeus abelii. Data on 76 single trait-relevant behaviours were recorded in a series of 14 laboratory based situations and in two different group situations. Data collection was repeated completely after a break of two weeks within a 50-day period. All behaviour records were sufficiently reliable. Individual- and variable-oriented analyses showed high/substantial temporal stability on different levels of aggregation. Distinctive and stable individual situational and response profiles clarified the importance of situations and of multiple trait-relevant behaviours. The present study calls for a closer collaboration between personality psychologists and behavioural biologists to tap the full potential of animal personality research.


Personality assessment in the Great Apes: Comparing ecologically valid behavior measures, behavior ratings, and adjective ratings

Authors: Jana Uher and Jens B. Asendorpf

Three methods of personality assessment (behavior measures, behavior ratings, adjective ratings) were compared in 20 zoo-housed Great Apes: bonobos (Pan paniscus), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus abelii). To test a new bottom-up approach, the studied trait constructs were systematically generated from the species’ behavioral repertoires. The assessments were reliable, temporally stable, and showed substantial cross-method coherence. In most traits, behavior ratings mediated the relations between adjective ratings and behavior measures. Results suggest that high predictability of manifest behavior is best achieved by behavior ratings, not by adjectives. Empirical evidence for trait constructs beyond current personality models points to the necessity of broad and systematic approaches for valid inferences on a species’ personality structure.


Cooperative Activities in Young Children and Chimpanzees

Authors: Felix Warneken, Frances Chen and Michael Tomasello

Human children 18 – 24 months of age and 3 young chimpanzees interacted in 4 cooperative activities with a human adult partner. The human children successfully participated in cooperative problem-solving activities and social games, whereas the chimpanzees were uninterested in the social games. As an experimental manipulation, in each task the adult partner stopped participating at a specific point during the activity. All children produced at least one communicative attempt to reengage him, perhaps suggesting that they were trying to reinstate a shared goal. No chimpanzee ever made any communicative attempt to reengage the partner. These results are interpreted as evidence for a uniquely human form of cooperative activity involving shared intentionality that emerges in the second year of life.


Computer Supported Measurement of Distance Moved by Rabbits a day by Mangold Video Motion Tracker

Authors: Steffen Hoy, Justus Liebig University of Gießen

Because of several reasons it was necessary to develop and to test a new software solution to analyze the distance moved by farm animals in the field.