Individual differences in children's co-representation of self and other in joint action

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Previous research has shown that children aged 4–5 years, but not 2–3 years, show adult-like interference from a partner when performing a joint task (Milward, Kita, & Apperly, 2014). This raises questions about the cognitive skills involved in the development of such “corepresentation (CR)” of a partner (Sebanz, Knoblich, & Prinz, 2003). Here, individual differences data from one hundred and thirteen 4- to 5-year-olds showed theory of mind (ToM) and inhibitory control (IC) as predictors of ability to avoid CR interference, suggesting that children with better ToM abilities are more likely to succeed in decoupling self and other representations in a joint task, while better IC is likely to help children avoid interference from a partner's response when selecting their own response on the task.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964–978
JournalChild Development
Issue number3
Early online date14 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2017