Friday, September 4, 2009

Science Friday

Over on The Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer has a typically great post about recent research on infant development.  It turns out babies understand more than originally thought.  Of course, any parent could have told you that, especially after watching a child effortlessly repeat something you just did yourself with great effort.  I swear Wombat can probably crack into a safe at this point.  (He is able to screw and unscrew caps on things, and he has a basic understanding of numbers.  I believe those two skills are all that's needed to open any safe.)

Here is my favorite quote, on attention in little ones:
If attention works like a narrow spotlight in adults - a focused beam illuminating particular parts of reality - then in young kids it works more like a lantern, casting a diffuse radiance on their surroundings.

"We sometimes say that adults are better at paying attention than children," writes Gopnik. "But really we mean just the opposite. Adults are better at not paying attention. They're better at screening out everything else and restricting their consciousness to a single focus."

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