Infants Much Smarter Than You May Think
TORONTO: Does a baby know that a dog can jump a fence while a school bus cannot or a cat can avoid colliding with a wall while a table being pushed into a wall cannot?
According to an interesting study, infants as young as 10-months old can tell the difference between the kinds of paths naturally taken by a walking animal, compared to a moving car or piece of furniture.
"You can understand something about what babies know based on how long they look at something. Babies will look at something new longer than they will look at something that is already familiar to them," explained Rachel Baker from Concordia University’s department of psychology.
This is important because the ability to categorise things as animate beings or inanimate objects is a fundamental cognitive ability that allows toddlers to better understand the world around them, added fellow researcher Tamara Pettigrew.
To understand this, researchers looked at about 350 babies - who participated at 10, 12, 16 and 20 months - to find out when children clue in to the fact that animals and objects follow different motion paths.