The Baby Brain: Wired for Connection
October 22, 2014 · Posted in Infant Development, Parenting · Permalink

We all are amazed at how babies are brilliant little creatures. Now brain research is able to look inside the infant’s brain to see the actual mechanisms that underlie their amazing abilities. A study published in Current Biology used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fmri) of the brains of three to seven month old infants to assess brain activity in relationship to sound. They found that the infant brain attends to human voices and emotions even more than familiar environmental sounds. These babies’ brains showed more activation when they heard emotionally neutral human sounds, such as coughing, sneezing, or yawning, than when they heard familiar non-human sounds like their toys or running water. We are wired for connection from birth.

Another interesting finding was that these babies showed greater response to sad sounds versus neutral ones. This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective–to be more alert to a bad situation is probably adaptive for a baby. This may be a part of understanding why we all tend to remember and focus on the negative rather than the positive experiences in life.

Adaptive capacity or a design flaw is debatable, interesting never the less.

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