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
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy