photo from Amazon
When my baby was born I had the feeling she was so much wiser than me—and maybe I was right. While scientists have always thought that babies couldn't do things because their brains weren't fully developed, new research shows that babies' brains are buzzing with activity and they are, in fact, better at a lot of things than adults.
According to Inside the Baby Mind, an article in the Boston Globe, the baby's brain actually contains more brain cells (neurons) than the adult brain, which is why babies can learn so much so fast. Unlike the adult mind, which restricts itself to a narrow slice of reality, babies can take in a much wider spectrum of sensation—they are more aware of the world than we are.
Alison Gopnick, a psychologist, and author of the new book, The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life, writes, "We sometimes say that adults are better at paying attention than children, but really we mean just the opposite. Adults are better at not paying attention. They're better at screening out everything else and restricting their consciousness to a single focus."
While our brains become more efficient as we grow, learning becomes more difficult. There's a direct trade-off between the mind's flexibility and its proficiency. Gopnik says this helps explain why a young child can learn three languages at once but have a hard time tying his shoelaces.
There's so much more to the article, and I find it all so fascinating. If you do, too, read more of Inside the Baby Mind or pick up a copy of The Philisophical Baby (it will be in bookstores this summer).
Do you feel like your baby is smarter then you?