Posts Tagged ‘baby’
Newborns are born largely blind, with dark, blurry, colourless and two-dimensional vision, Tseng says. While in the womb, there is no chance to develop vision. But they respond to auditory cues, which is why the best way to connect with newborns is to talk to them. At two months, they start to see a bit of colour – mainly red and green. By six months, they can see in full colour, although images remain quite blurry. By one year, Tseng says, they can see almost as well as adults. “We started to study infants because at first we didn’t believe that they could learn at such a young age,” says Tseng, who has a PhD in psychology from University of California, Irvine, and has spent most of her career studying perception, attention and learning in adults. “But so far I am convinced that infants have more cognitive learning ability than previously thought,” she says. Through the studies, the researchers are also beginning to understand the correlation between an infant’s learning ability and his or her future development.
It turns out that pictures of the smiling babies may be more than just decorative pieces. An interesting study at the Baylor College of Medicine suggests that a baby’s smile may be providing a natural high to the mother. This natural high, as with some foods or drugs, may even be addictive. Recently released in the journal, Pediatrics, the study shows that the brain responds to the facial cues of babies.
Some research scientists believe that there is an association between the limbic system (emotions), associative system (cognition) and motor system (behavior) of the brain that is set into motion when a new mother observes her happy, smiling baby. A cascade of reactions is initiated with that smile, activating important dopamine-associated reward processing areas of the brain, which motivates maternal care and contributes to maternal-fetal attachment.
“We think children are born with a skeleton of general expectations about fairness,” explains Sloane, “and these principles and concepts get shaped in different ways depending on the culture and the environment they’re brought up in.” Some cultures value sharing more than others, but the ideas that resources should be equally distributed and rewards allocated according to effort are innate and universal.
Other survival instincts can intervene. Self-interest is one, as is loyalty to the in-group — your family, your tribe, your team. It’s much harder to abide by that abstract sense of fairness when you want all the cookies — or your team is hungry. That’s why children need reminders to share and practice in the discipline of doing the right thing in spite of their desires.
Breast milk may be the key to mother-baby bonding, according to research that found that breast-feeding mothers demonstrate stronger brain responses when they hear their baby cry. They’re also more likely than formula-feeding moms to bond with their babies, says a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.