Navigation Links
Babies May Be Smarter Than You Think
Date:2/15/2012

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Babies can understand many words sooner than they can actually say them, a new study indicates.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania say 6- to 9-month old babies learn the meaning of the words for certain foods and body parts through their daily exposure to language. They said most psychologists don't think this type of word comprehension is possible until a child is closer to 1 year.

"I think it's surprising in the sense that the kids at this age aren't saying anything, they're not pointing, they're not walking," said the study's co-author, Elika Bergelson, a doctoral student in Penn's department of psychology, in a university news release. "But actually, under the surface, they're trying to put together the things in the world with the words that go with them."

In conducting the study, researchers had 33 babies between 6 and 9 months old view a screen with a picture of a food and a body part while sitting with their parents. The parents were given phrases to say to the child, asking them to find the apple, for instance. An eye-tracking device revealed the babies' responses to the phrases.

In a second test, the children went through the same process but saw pictures of typical food scenes and a whole person, not just body parts.

After taking into account possible reasons for errors or distraction among the babies, the researchers compared the responses of the 6- to 9-month-old infants with those of 50 other babies ranging from 10 to 20 months of age.

In both tests, the researchers found the 6- to 9-month-olds looked more often at the picture that was named than any other images. The researchers argued this was a sign that they knew what the word meant.

"There had been a few demonstrations of understanding before, involving words like 'mommy' and 'daddy,'" study co-author, Daniel Swingley, an associate professor in the psychology department, said in the news release. "Our study is different in looking at more generic words, words that refer to categories."

Bergelson added, "We're testing things that look different every time you see them. There's some variety in apples and noses, and 'nose' doesn't just mean your nose; it could mean anybody's nose. This is one of the things that makes word learning complicated: Words often refer to categories, not just individuals."

The study's authors said babies at 8 and 9 months performed no better than 6- and 7-month-old infants. They said no significant improvement was seen until the children reached about 14 months of age. They could not explain exactly why performance did not improve for so long.

"I think this study presents a great message to parents: You can talk to your babies and they're going to understand a bit of what you're saying," Swingley concluded. "They're not going to give us back witty repartee, but they understand some of it. And the more they know, the more they can build on what they know."

Their study was published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on infant development.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of Pennsylvania, news release, Feb. 13, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Many babies born to immigrants are being labeled too small incorrectly
2. More U.S. Babies Born at Home: Report
3. Antidepressants While Pregnant Linked to Slight Risk of Lung Problem in Babies
4. Like Babies, Dogs Pick Up on Peoples Intent
5. Breastfeeding saved babies in 19th- Century Montreal
6. Steroids May Boost Survival for Very Preemie Babies
7. When babies awake: New study shows surprise regarding important hormone level
8. Flat Head Syndrome in Babies Usually Temporary
9. Babies who eat fish before 9 months are less likely to suffer pre-school wheeze
10. Babies Put on Transplant List Before Birth Get Hearts Faster
11. UH Rainbow Babies & Childrens Hospital begins studies on vitamin D to prevent heart disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Babies May Be Smarter Than You Think
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet ... product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural ... two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes ... important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn ... specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand ... all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for ... is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs ... company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, ... Technologies , Inc. Patients are no longer limited ... ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NAMUR , Belgium , ...  (NYSE MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of ... Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective ... the Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance ... Board, Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Any dentist who has made an implant supported ... Many of them do not even offer this as a ... laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer ... high cost that the majority of today,s patients would not ... Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: