Perception of others solving problems

By observing others, children come to understand behavior in functional terms because they acquire conceptual information about action goals.

 

However, little is known about how children and adults perceive other people’s multi-step actions during problem solving, when the end-goal is not immediately apparent.

 

We combine remote eye-tracking, deep neural networks, and EEG to test developmental changes in the perception of problem solving. This novel combination revealed that looking patterns change with development, and children increasingly gather sufficient visual information about others’ solutions.

 

Moreover, adults exhibit differences in action-related neural activity when they observed different solutions, whereas children do not.

 

Our findings reflect developmental changes in visual and neural sensitivity to how others solve problems