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February 27, 2018 Tuesday 04:10:59 PM IST

Babies start learning from their 3rd month

Teacher Insights

27th February, 2018: They may not be in a position to sit up or even roll over. But they are ripe for learning! Researchers of Northwestern University have shown for the first time that babies plunge into the journey of learning as early as their 3rd month. The 3- and 4-month- old infants are shown to successfully detect visual patterns and generalize them to new sequences. The results of the study are published in the online journal PLOS One.

The skill of identifying patterns of one system and applying it to another system is known as “learning of abstract rules”, which is unique signature of human perceptions and cognition. The current research has proven that such skill is imbibed by a baby at its 3rd month itself.

It is a matter of survival for members of animal kingdom to be able to detect objects and events and to understand the relations among them. This skill is exceptionally abstract, when it comes to humans. It is shown in the study that infants are capable of abstraction at a very early stage of their life.

“The basic capacity of abstract rule learning has its origins in infancy,” suggests Sandra Waxman, the key author of the study. “Babies are doing really powerful abstraction from just their observation of the world.”