From learning in the womb to having a vice grip, we count 10 amazing things you didn’t know babies could do.
10 – Womb Nostalgia,
- There was an experiment on babies’ memories where the mothers would read ‘The Cat in the Hat’ aloud during the last six weeks of pregnancy to their still developing babies.
- After they were born the babies were found to have preferred ‘The Cat in the Hat’ over any other stories their mother would read them, implying they have fond memories from when they were in the womb.
9 – Judging Reliability,
- In another experiment adults were instructed to look into a box, look surprised and then they invited the infant to look in the box to see what they saw.
- Half of the adults had a toy in their box, the other half had nothing.
- Babies learn by copying, but they don’t copy anyone: the babies generally refused to imitate the adults that had no toy and happily copied the ones that did.
8 – Understand Probability,
- Probability isn’t exactly an easy thing to grasp, many people buy lottery tickets despite the odds, and yet eight-month-old babies were shown to have at least a fundamental understanding of how it works.
- The University of British Columbia took some babies and showed them a box of mostly white ping-pong balls with a couple red ones as well.
- When an unlikely combination of ping-pong balls were removed from the box, such as any combination including a red ball, the babies stared more intensely.
7 – Racism,
- That’s right, it appears that racism is at least a small part of basic human behaviour.
- The University of Washington had researchers distribute out toys to two babies, sometimes fairly some unfairly.
- Then they had other babies choose who to play with, generally they’d pick the one with more toys, however, when the baby with more toys wasn’t the same race as the babies they’d prefer their own race over the benefit of more toys.
6 – Iron Grip,
- Babies have a reflex known as the palmar grasp, where if you stroke their palm they will grab onto it as hard as possible.
- It turns out that they have a strong enough grip to hold up their own weight, the least amount of time they could hold on was 10 seconds, the longest was two minutes and 35 seconds.
- It appears that monkeys also have this reflex, but they can hold on for much longer.