The temporal dynamics of parent-infant synchrony have been well documented. In recent years, the introduction of more accurate technologies for tracking movements has allowed the distinction of different morphological patterns of dyadic coordination. However, the potential of these technologies to explore infant-adult synchrony has not yet been explored. In the present study, we examined the temporal, spatial, and morphological synchrony patterns of infant-unknown adult pairs participating in a storytime session by a motion capture system (mocap). We find low but significant correlation levels of body synchrony between infants and unknown adults. This synchronized coactivity adopted two differentiated forms: mirror-like and anatomical. While the infants’ movements mirrored those of the adults with a lag (0.9 s), the adults’ reactions to the infants were anatomical with delay (0.4 s). This evidence could contribute novel insights to rethink synchrony and its measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2839
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 18 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Scientific and Technological Equipment Program, FONDEQUIP (Grant Number EQM120026), the Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT-PCHA/Doctorado Nacional/2016-folio: 21160537), and FONDECYT grant numbers 1140979 and 1181271.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2019 Cuadros, Hurtado and Cornejo.


  • anatomical imitation
  • dyadic interaction
  • interpersonal synchrony
  • mirroring
  • mocap


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