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Mirror-image responses and the development of self-recognition during the first two years of life.
Video tape records were made of seventy-seven infants, ranging in
age from one to 24 months, as each was exposed for three minutes to four
different levels of mirror distortion. A mirror behavior checklist
(Amsterdam 1968, 1972) was used to identify 34 possible behaviors. The
range and complexity of mirror related activities increases significantly
during the first two years of life, culminating in self-recognition by
52% of the subjects aged 19 to 24 months. All subjects responded
equivalently to both the plain and distorted mirror images, suggesting
that it is the general configuration of the face that holds intrinsic
interest at these age levels. The prevailing view that the infant's
perception is qualitatively similar to that of the adult was supported
by this study.