Behavior / General / Genetics

Babies- who are they?


An age group who hasn’t comprehended the tragedy that the world is going through today are infants/toddlers. I sometimes feel that the only way adults are able to face tragedy and cope with it is seeing these little people living their innocent lives.  So, this article is about babies who give endless happiness to all of us especially now when we absolutely need it the most. In Darwin’s theory of evolution, it was believed that newborns/infants acquire their cognition through heredity (biological inheritance) and subsequently through the environment around them. Advanced research since then has shown that newborn’s cognitive skills are not just due to heredity-environment bi-partnership, but they acquire certain understanding of the world around them through their own interaction with the world. For example, even though sucking reflex, grasping are something that is inborn in babies, they only get better at these actions through practice, thus the constant interaction with the world helps them improve their survival skills and also get better at them. Below are more findings on babies by observing their cognitive development (manner in which the human mind is organized) from the time of their birth.

Mother and child

  1. Even before birth fetuses can differentiate between male and female voices. 
  2. Only 30% of brain growth happens before birth and the rest of brain maturation happens after the baby is born and under the care of close relatives.
  3. Newborn infants are able to distinguish between individual faces of both humans and nonhuman primates.
  4. Research has shown that 9 minutes after birth newborns are able to perceive patterns of faces.
  5. Newborn babies can differentiate between flavors and by the age of 4 days old they are able to detect their mother’s odor. 
  6. By the age of 2-3 months babies are able to tune to the language spoken to them and eventually will be able to identify their native language from others.
  7. Research has shown that babies don’t randomly look at things, but selectively decide on which object to stare at for prolonged periods of time.
  8. Research has shown that babies can differentiate between social and non-social interactions.
  9. Newborn babies can feel pain and can act to avoid pain. Additionally, they can also form memories of such experiences.
  10. By an year old, babies are able to recognize positive and negative facial expressions and are able to respond appropriately.
  11. Some experiments have demonstrated that 5 month old babies can differentiate between anger, sadness and fear expressions. 

My research for this article has demonstrated to me that there is so much about an infant’s emotional capabilities that I was so unaware of. With this new found knowledge, when I look at a child now, I understand that they are not just cute little beings, but highly evolved individuals. 

Royalty free images were used.

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