Watch and learn: Mapping the behavioural and neural profile of observational learning throughout the lifespan

  • Emily Cross (Creator)
  • Louise Kirsch (Creator)
  • Jagodage Dilini Sumanapala (Creator)


As humans, our ability to survive within a social world is facilitated by learning through observing others. As such, when learning tasks as simple as tying one's shoes or as complex as performing heart surgery, we learn by watching from childhood through to old age. Many researchers from the behavioural and brain sciences suggest that observational and physical learning share common features. What remains unknown is how our brains and behaviour change when learning by observation across the lifespan, as well as how age impacts the efficacy of observational learning. To address these questions, I measure the impact of observational learning on behaviour and brain activity among children, young adults, and older adults. The ultimate aim is to develop a means of identifying factors associated with observational learning success, which in turn will inform observation-based interventions used in education and therapeutic contexts.
Date made available6 Jan 2017
PublisherPrifysgol Bangor University
Date of data production22 Apr 2013 - 19 Mar 2016