Re: neonatal imitation

Bill Benzon (
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 08:04:54 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 08:04:54 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: neonatal imitation

>In my studies of football, I am having some trouble demonstrating
>that footballers imitate each other. They exhibit stereotypical
>behaviours which seem to be related to their position in the team,
>but it is possible that they learn these from coaches as youngsters,
>and then subsequent change in behaviour is largely a function of
>their fitness and other random factors (eg. the weather on any
>particular match day etc.).

It seems to me you may be hung up on a difference that doesn't make a
difference. Who cares whether a given behavior is the result of
"spontaneous" self-initiated imitation or the result of deliberate
instruction? In either case the behavior gets "transmitted/replicated."
When children are taught to write they are told to imitate letter forms and
spend hours in such exercises. Is this imitation or instruction? It seems
to me that it's both. And it doesn't make any difference whether you
accomplish this particular imitation by holding a pencil in your fingers or
between your toes. What matters is the mark on the sheet of paper.

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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