Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brainy babies: Research explores infants' skills and abilities

Date:
November 21, 2012
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Infants seem to develop at an astoundingly rapid pace, learning new things and acquiring new skills every day. And research suggests that the abilities that infants demonstrate early on can shape the development of skills later in life, in childhood and beyond.

First steps. How do babies learn to walk?
Credit: sborisov / Fotolia

Infants seem to develop at an astoundingly rapid pace, learning new things and acquiring new skills every day. And research suggests that the abilities that infants demonstrate early on can shape the development of skills later in life, in childhood and beyond.

Related Articles


Read about the latest research on infant development published in the November 2012 issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

How Do You Learn to Walk? Thousands of Steps and Dozens of Falls per Day

How do babies learn to walk? In this study, Adolph and colleagues recorded 15- to 60-minute videos of spontaneous activity from infants. They then coded the videos for the time infants spent walking and crawling, the number of crawling and walking steps infants took, and the number of falls infants experienced whether walking or crawling. The researchers found that the infants moved a tremendous amount and that new walkers moved faster than crawlers but had a similar number of falls at first and fewer as they became more experienced. This suggests that infants are motivated to begin walking because they move faster without falling more and that they dramatically improve their walking skills through immense amounts of practice.

Authors are Karen E. Adolph, Whitney G. Cole, Meghana Komati, Jessie S. Garciaguirre, Daryaneh Badaly, Jesse M. Lingeman, Gladys L. Y. Chan, and Rachel B. Sotsky.

Implications of Infant Cognition for Executive Functions at Age 11

Do basic information processing skills in infancy have any bearing on later executive functioning skills in children? Infants were assessed for memory, processing speed, and attention at age 7-12 months and age 24-36 months. When they were 11 years old, the children returned to the lab and were assessed for various different kinds of executive functioning skills, including working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Rose and colleagues created a statistical model that used infant abilities to predict executive functioning later in childhood and they found that this model fit the data well. The model indicated that processing speed in infancy significantly predicted working memory and shifting ability at age 11 and that memory in infancy significantly predicted shifting at age 11. This research supports the idea that infant cognitive abilities provide a foundation for the later development of executive functioning abilities.

Authors are Susan A. Rose, Judith F. Feldman, and Jeffery J. Jankowski.

One-Year-Old Infants Follow Others' Voice Direction

Can infants determine what adults are paying attention to by listening to their voices? Rossano and colleagues conducted an experiment in which infants were placed in front of a wooden barrier that had a box sticking out of either side. A member of the research team hid behind the barrier and spoke in the direction of one of the boxes. The researchers then watched to see which box the infants moved toward. Rossano and colleagues found that infants moved toward the box that was in the direction of the researcher's vocalization. A follow-up study that examined the same task with chimpanzees found that they showed no ability to follow voice direction. This suggests that infants -- but perhaps not chimpanzees -- can infer what an adult is paying attention to based on voice alone.

Authors are Federico Rossano, Malinda Carpenter, and Michael Tomasello.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. K. E. Adolph, W. G. Cole, M. Komati, J. S. Garciaguirre, D. Badaly, J. M. Lingeman, G. L. Y. Chan, R. B. Sotsky. How Do You Learn to Walk? Thousands of Steps and Dozens of Falls per Day. Psychological Science, 2012; 23 (11): 1387 DOI: 10.1177/0956797612446346
  2. S. A. Rose, J. F. Feldman, J. J. Jankowski. Implications of Infant Cognition for Executive Functions at Age 11. Psychological Science, 2012; 23 (11): 1345 DOI: 10.1177/0956797612444902
  3. F. Rossano, M. Carpenter, M. Tomasello. One-Year-Old Infants Follow Others' Voice Direction. Psychological Science, 2012; 23 (11): 1298 DOI: 10.1177/0956797612450032

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Brainy babies: Research explores infants' skills and abilities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121121130935.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2012, November 21). Brainy babies: Research explores infants' skills and abilities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121121130935.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Brainy babies: Research explores infants' skills and abilities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121121130935.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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