Altered Video Task: A Promising Alternative for Elicited/deferred Imitation Task in Young Children

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


The method presented in this paper is invented to address the problem of episodic memory in participants with highly restricted verbal abilities, 15-month-olds in this case. Here, we refer to episodic memory defined as a mind/brain system with three main responsibilities: to encode, to store and to recall individual memories. Episodic memory system requires three additional capacities, which make it uniquely human: a sense of self, a sense of subjective time, and autonoetic awareness [26]. Such approach is currently predominant both in developmental psychology and in cognitive zoology research.
With a focus on developmental studies, we introduce a method, which aims to pair a measure of episodic memory and a measure of self-awareness. Episodic recall is measured via presentation of an original and a modified recording of a personal past event after a delay. The participant is expected to watch the unfamiliar video significantly longer than the familiar video, and so evince the differentiation between them. Alongside, the participant takes part in a mirror-mark task (a standard measure of self-recognition) and also in a real-time video task (a possible alternative for the mirror-mark task).
Measuring of the recall is based on “what”-“who”-“where” aspects of the past event. Three modified videos are generated from the original one, and the modifications refer to: 1. a toy (“what”), 2. an experimenter (“who”) and 3. a setting (“where”). That is why this method also derives from cognitive zoology studies, where episodic memory is measured via behavioural signs of remembering “what”, “where” and “when” happened [9]. The “who” aspect is a common addition in case of highly social animals [23][24][25].
The most typical method of measuring episodic recall in human children, even as young as 6-month-olds [2, p. 175] is elicited/deferred imitation task. However, it does not involve measuring of any of the “uniquely human” capacities and can be only applied to these organisms, which can readily imitate human experimenter’s actions.
Further, we also elaborate on the above-mentioned issues. We also discuss the results and possible improvements of the method implementation, for we actually tested it with a group of 15-month-olds. The results were statistically significant for the “who” and “what” aspects, but remained insignificant for the aspect of “where”.


External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
  • University of Warsaw
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Natural Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Measuring Behavior 2016
Subtitle of host publication10th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research
EditorsAndrew Spink, Gernot Riedel, Liting Zhou, Lisanne E. A. Teekens, Rami Albatal, Cathal Gurrin
Place of PublicationDublin, Ireland
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-873769-59-1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 23
Publication categoryResearch
Event10th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research - Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 2016 May 252016 May 27


Conference10th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research