Newborn infants are supposed to be capable of imitating our facial expressions, like sticking out our tongues and opening our mouths. A new study in Current Biology suggests there’s no actual imitating going on—and that it’s all in our heads.
In 1985, a premature baby was born in Maryland who needed surgery to tie off a dangerous blood vessel near his heart. The newborn, Jeffrey, died weeks after the procedure. His family learned afterwards that none of the procedures had been performed with analgesics; the only drug administered was a muscle relaxant.
As adults, we have a habit of reaching out and touching plants without a second thought. But babies, apparently, aren't so careless. New research shows that infants have an innate reluctance to touch plants — an aversion that protects them from potential dangers, such as toxins and thorns.
Remember that scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when, to get the Holy Grail, Indy has to step into a chasm as a leap of faith? Multiple scientists have done similar things to babies.
Babies may not be able to clean or feed themselves, but they're pretty damn remarkable at a number of other things (things besides being pudgy and adorable). For instance, psychologists at NYU recently demonstrated that children as young as nine months old are also capable of differentiating between speech and…
Babies are easy to underestimate. This is understandable; after all, when most of us interact with an infant, we see a clumsy, messy creature — one more adept at stringing together strange gurgling noises than distinct consonants and vowels.