Do Infants Use Their Own Images to Locate Objects Reflected in a Mirror? Academic Article uri icon


  • The ability of infants to locate a toy from a mirror reflection was investigated in 3 experiments. In the first, it was found that a minority of 22-month-old infants turned to locate the toy that was the source of the reflection, and that localization of the toy occurred regardless of whether the infants' own image was visible in the mirror. The results of 2 further experiments indicated that younger infants aged 14 and 18 months rarely use mirror information to locate a toy. When they do so, they also turn whether or not images of themselves are visible. It is concluded that tasks involving the localization of objects or events from mirror images are not direct indices of self-recognition. Rather, they indicate the skill of infants in using the mirror as a perceptual tool.

publication date

  • October 1990