facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: Babies at 5 months may already have 'adult' brain sense

April 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM   |   Comments

PARIS, April 19 (UPI) -- An adult-like consciousness of objects in their environment may already be in place in the brains of infants as young a 5 months, French researchers say.

Neuroscientists at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris say that by that age the internal brain architecture and connection seems to be in place to perceive objects in adult-like ways, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

"I think we have a pretty nice answer," researcher Sid Kouider said. "Babies as early as 5 months, and probably earlier, are displaying the same neural aspects of consciousness as adults."

Since infants of that age can't directly express what they're seeing or thinking, the researchers spent 5 years with babies at 5, 10 and 15 months of age who had to wear a cap with 128 electrodes and watch images of objects presented at eye-blink intervals.

"We had to be very patient," Kouider said.

The researchers compared the recorded brain waves of the infants with those of adults who were also presented with fleeting images and asked if they had "seen" anything, and found similar wave forms in infants as young as 5 months.

Some researchers cautioned the French scientists may be over-interpreting their data.

"The study is well done," said Charles Nelson, director of developmental medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, who wasn't involved in the French study but has done similar research. "They just take the inference too far."

Kouider has acknowledged the study describes brain function, not the content of the babies' thoughts, but said further research may unveil what babies actually know but can't tell us.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
6,000-year-old temple discovered in prehistoric Ukraine settlement 6,000-year-old temple discovered in prehistoric Ukraine settlement
2
NASA orbiter beams back images of Siding Spring comet NASA orbiter beams back images of Siding Spring comet
3
An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again
4
DC drone hobbyists in limbo over flying locations DC drone hobbyists in limbo over flying locations
5
Study: Fish just wanna have fun Study: Fish just wanna have fun
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback