A hallmark of human nature is the ability to share information and to comprehend the thoughts and intentions of others. This capability involves social cognition (the cognitive processes involved in social interaction) and makes a significant contribution to the foundations for language development, as well as social competence. It also sets us apart from other primates.
However, before infants have developed social cognition and language, they communicate and learn new information by following the gaze of others and by using their own eye contact and gestures to show or direct the attention of the people around them. Scientists refer to this skill as “joint attention.” Joint attention is vital to social competence at all ages: Children and adults that are unable to follow engage and react to joint attention may forever be impaired in their capacity for relatedness and relationships.
Tratto da "Psychologicalscience.org" - prosegui nella lettura dell'articolo