A study led by Goldsmiths, University of London suggests that babies as young as six or seven months are able to actively respond to stimuli and understand them in relation to their own bodies.
In a series of tests, low-frequency buzzers were placed in the hands of babies. Six month old babies would respond to a buzzer being set off by pulling-back or shaking the hand which held the activated buzzer. The tests were repeated with older babies who also looked towards the stimulated hand, indicating a further developed visual awareness.
The babies’ arms were then crossed to see if they were able to appreciate that their hands, and the buzzes, were not in their usual place. The older cohort was more likely than the younger group to recognise that their hands had been crossed to the other side of their body when responding to an activated buzzer. The younger group made more mistakes, showing less awareness that their limbs had moved.
The results of this study suggest that at six months babies have some comprehension of the world around them and how they can respond to it. The study indicates that a spatial awareness of the body and its physical location, particularly where the limbs are, develops over the first year of life.
While cognitive development theorists such as Jean Piaget have long argued that babies develop through exploring the world with their senses, the question of how our understanding of our own bodies develops has received little consideration until now. The study shows that an awareness of peripersonal space – the way the body relates to its close environment, the space in which it can act – undergoes some significant developments in the first year of life.
Dr Andrew Bremner from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths said: “Research in recent years has demonstrated that even very little babies know a lot about the outside world. This has led many to suggest that we are born with a great deal of the knowledge we need. But these new findings urge us to think differently about early development. Despite having a good grasp of what goes on in the outside world, young babies may have more difficulties in understanding how they themselves, and their bodies, fit into that world.”
An article on the study, ‘Infants lost in (peripersonal) space?’ has been published in the August edition of ‘Trends in Cognitive Sciences’: http://www.trends.com/ticsPress enquiries:
Sarah Empey | alfa
Further reports about: > low-frequency buzzers
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
20.09.2017 | Life Sciences
20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy