Babies incapable of copying gestures: Scientists

Babies incapable of copying gestures: Scientists

Monday, May 9, 2016 10:03 pm

A new born baby

A  baby

Everyone can’t help but make silly faces or sounds at cute babies, in hopes of making the baby imitate the expression or sound. But recent scientific research suggests that these actions are pointless as babies can’t really imitate gestures, movements or vocalisations.

The research, led by University of Queensland scientist Virginia Slaughter, presented 106 babies at one, three, six and nine weeks of age with a variety of facial expressions, gestures, or sounds created by both human and non-human models.

During the experiments, researchers failed to find any correlations between the babies’ actions and those that they were shown; the babies usually move or let out sounds randomly.

This provides evidence that contrary to longstanding belief, the ability to copy exterior stimuli is acquired later in life.

Despite disappointing many new parents with the results, the scientists also found that sticking out their tongues is something babies often do, so if you really want to show your “special bond” with baby in front of relatives, try sticking out your tongue out too!


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