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:3/28/2017)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... people suffering from acne, access to quality care can be limited while the desire ... company that offers customized prescription acne care for every customer online, today released its ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... A minimally invasive porcelain ... smile.” The National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) is informing dentists about the ... of when utilizing dental laboratories and technicians that create these veneers. , ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... With expansion and efficiency in mind, Patten ... , The seed processing plant opened in Marshallville in 2006, and a bagging and ... allows opportunity for transition of Patten Seed operations to the Middle Georgia location from ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... , ... “A Prophets Bones”: a thrilling adventure that reveals the mystery of Kevin’s purpose. “A ... his parents and teachers had asked of him that he had neglected to do, but ... the Almighty Creator. There were some who would have felt themselves to be special and ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , ... March 27, 2017 , ... New patients who ... replace their missing teeth can now have them placed by Dr. Manju Kejriwal, with ... i-CAT® Cone Beam technology to increase the accuracy of each dental implant placement. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), a ... significant unmet medical needs, today announced that it ... Office (JPO) for the composition of matter of ... the treatment or prevention of fibrotic disorders, including ... retinopathy (Japanese Patent #: 6060071).  This patent includes ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , March 28, 2017 ... is expected to reach USD 8.0 billion by 2025, ... Inc. The increasing incidence of infectious diseases and cancer ... for use in disease diagnosis over the coming years. ... the usage of autologous and allogenic stem cell therapy, ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 Elysium ... with Cambridge academic ...   The Milner Therapeutics Institute today announces Elysium ... Health has committed significant investment for collaborative projects with academic ... four years. This is the first major research investment outside ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: