Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Babies understand thought process of others at 10 months old, research suggests

Date:
November 2, 2011
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
New research indicates that at 10 months, babies start to understand another person's thought process, providing new insights on how humans acquire knowledge and how communication develops.

At 10 months, babies start to understand another person's thought process, providing new insights on how humans acquire knowledge and how communication develops, new research suggests.
Credit: Irina Magrelo / Fotolia

New research from the University of Missouri indicates that at 10 months, babies start to understand another person's thought process, providing new insights on how humans acquire knowledge and how communication develops.

"Understanding other people is a key factor in successful communication, and humans start to understand this at a very young age," said Yuyan Luo, associate professor of developmental psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science. "Our study indicates that infants, even before they can verbally communicate, can understand the thought processes of other people -- even if the thoughts diverge from what the infants know as truth, a term psychologists call false belief."

During the study, infants were monitored during different trials of a common psychological test in which an actor indicated preference for certain objects. Researchers timed the infant's gaze, which is an indication of infant knowledge. The infants watched longer when the actor's preferences changed. This led the researchers to believe that infants understood how the actor interacted with the objects.

"When the actor did not witness the removal or addition of the preferred object, the infants seemed to use that information to interpret the person's actions," Luo said. "The infants appear to recognize that the actor's behavior comes from what the actor could see or could not see and hence what the actor thinks, and this finding is consistent with similar false belief studies that involve older children."

Luo said her study is one of the first to explore the false belief understanding in the first year of life; evidence from other studies indicates that infant understanding could be present at an earlier age. As the research moves forward, Luo expects to find more understanding of how humans learn to communicate.

"In adults, beliefs guide behavior, but it would be difficult to explain another person's behavior without explaining his or her mental state," Luo said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yuyan Luo. Do 10-month-old infants understand others’ false beliefs? Cognition, 2011; 121 (3): 289 DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2011.07.011

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Babies understand thought process of others at 10 months old, research suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101130204.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2011, November 2). Babies understand thought process of others at 10 months old, research suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101130204.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Babies understand thought process of others at 10 months old, research suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101130204.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins