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:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The California State University Institute for ... engaged in or interested in palliative care education and research. The Symposium, “Innovate. ... North County San Diego on Sept. 28 and 29, 2017, on the campus of ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Rosica ... in thought leadership , media relations, social media, content marketing and SEO, ... be powered through Act-On, an intuitive marketing automation platform. , Rosica will now ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... The 89th Academy Awards will be celebrated this weekend, ... Policy Center Bunkum Award. We invite you to enjoy our 11th annual tongue-in-cheek “salute” ... is the Center for American Progress (CAP), for its report, Lessons From State Performance ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Hamlin Dental Group and Dr. ... are sponsoring a raffle. Throughout the month of February, patients who visit Hamlin Dental ... card for a dinner for two at the Cheesecake Factory. , Tickets are ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Pink Pig Publishing LLC announces ... and explore the world from different perspectives. By providing a place for people ... understanding, increase empathy, and find greater happiness. , "Our approach to structuring ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017 The U.S. Food and Drug ... Kit, performed on the Pheno System. This is ... bloodstream infections and provide information about which antibiotics ... sensitivity). The test also reduces the amount of ... which can guide antibiotic treatment recommendations more quickly. ...
(Date:2/24/2017)...  This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Chiral ... Products: Intermediates, Analytical, and Others. The End Use ... Agrochemicals. The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the ... , and Rest of World. Annual estimates and ... Also, a six-year historic analysis is provided for these ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb 24, 2017 Research and ... Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest ... drug pricing data and benchmarks in the global Urinary Incontinence market. ... What are the key drugs marketed for Urinary Incontinence and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: