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Researchers have found that infants’ responses to surprising events, such as magic tricks, are associated with later cognitive ability.

The first longitudinal study of its kind of baby curiosity found that one-month-olds who are more captivated by magic tricks become the most interesting babies.

The work suggests that the preterm infant’s interest in the amazing aspects of the world remains stable over time և can predict their future cognitive ability.

“Something about a child’s curiosity about magic tricks predicts how well preschoolers become,” says Lisa Feigenson, co-chair of the Hopkins University Child Development Laboratory. “What the data suggests is that three-year-olds have a leg up or seem to be in a particularly good position to learn a lot about the world.”

The findings appear Scientific Bulletin of the National Academy of Sciences,

Prior to this study, little was known about interest in the initial speech, as interest was mainly studied in much older children and adults.

The main question of this work arose from Feigenson’s own curiosity, և lead author, John ounce Hopkins graduate student Asmin Perez about the constant disappointment with the classical experimental method of studying infant cognition. During these experiments, infants are shown regular objects, objects that are handled with amazing, unexpected eggs. Many, but not all, children tend to look at unexpected events longer. Some will look and look at a car that seems to be floating in the air or a ball that seems to pass through a solid wall. The other babies will stare, yawn, և they are done.

Researchers have suggested that variability is due to the number of newborns. Maybe they are confused or hungry or scattered. But Feigenson և Perez suspected that something might be wrong.

“We began to think that maybe all that individual variability really makes sense. It tells us that children react to the world in different ways, from the little one to the child,” says Perez.

To find out, they started an experiment in which they studied 65 babies over time. At 11 months, some babies were shown a toy that behaved normally, while others saw the toy pass directly through a wall. Six months later, the babies, who were now one and a half years old, now saw either a new toy that was behaving normally or seemed to be swimming in the air.

“We found that the kids who really looked at magic for 11 months were the same kids who really looked at magic for 17 months,” said Perez. “Newborns have different effects on these magical events. These seasons seem to be stable during childhood for six months.”

There was also little change in the least interested children during the six-month period.

But was this difference in infants predictable for future thinking? To determine this, the team initially wanted to return participants to the lab when they were three years old, but due to the epidemic, they instead sent their parents standardized interest questionnaires.

They found that the children who watched the events that did not live up to their expectations for the longest time were the children whose parents rated them as the most curious to find information, to solve the problem. The kind of curiosity that is likely to help children get to know the world.

Feigenson’s lab has previously found that these magical, anticipatory events are baby-learning opportunities. New discoveries that show that some children are better aware of these amazing events in the first place increase the likelihood that some children will be in a better position to learn, at least with this egg, which uses expectations as a lever to learn more about the world. for deep thinking. ,

The team plans to follow up with the group to find out how long the individual differences between the children last.

“One of the interesting reasons for these results is that they open the door to many other important questions,” says Feigenson. “What does this mean for children in the future?” These children are also considered the most interesting in high school. Are these kids going to score the highest on school achievement or IQ tests? These results are a cry for longitudinal consistency.

Source: Sons Hopkins University

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