We present two challenges to the fearful ape hypothesis: (1) biobehavioral synchrony precedes and moderates the effects of fear on cooperative care, and (2) cooperative care emerges in a more bidirectional manner than Grossmann acknowledges. We present evidence demonstrating how dyadic differences in co-regulation and individual differences in infants' reactivity shape caregivers' responses to infant affect.
Cooper et al. (this issue) develop an interactive activation model of spatial and imitative compatibilities that simulates the key results from Catmur and Heyes (2011) and thus conclude that both compatibilities are mediated by the same processes since their single model can predict all the results. Although the model is impressive, the conclusions are premature because they are based on an incomplete review of the relevant literature and because the model includes some questionable assumptions. Moreover, a competing model (Scheutz & (...) Bertenthal, 2012) is introduced that suggests the two compatibilities are not mediated by the same processes. We propose that more research is necessary before concluding that spatial and imitative compatibilities are mediated by the same processes. (shrink)
Three challenges to the sufficiency of the associative account for explaining the development of mirror mechanisms are discussed: Genetic predispositions interact with associative learning, infants show predispositions to imitate human as opposed to nonhuman actions, and early and later learning involve different mechanisms. Legitimate objections to an extreme nativist account are raised, but the proposed solution is equally problematic.
The empirical support for the shared circuits model (SCM) is mixed. We review recent results from our own lab and others supporting a central claim of SCM that mirroring occurs at multiple levels of representation. By contrast, the model is silent as to why human infants are capable of showing imitative behaviours mediated by a mirror system. This limitation is a problem with formal models that address neither the neural correlates nor the behavioural evidence directly.
We question the generalizability of Glover's model because it fails to distinguish between different forms of planning. The highly controlled experimental situations on which this model is based, do not reflect some important factors that contribute to planning. We discuss several classes of action that seem to imply distinct planning mechanisms, questioning Glover's postulation of a single “planning system.”.