July 21, 2009
Babies Understand Dogs

We are all Dr. Doolittle as babies.

New research shows babies have a handle on the meaning of different dog barks – despite little or no previous exposure to dogs.

Infants just 6 months old can match the sounds of an angry snarl and a friendly yap to photos of dogs displaying threatening and welcoming body language.

The new findings come on the heels of a study from the same Brigham Young University lab showing that infants can detect mood swings in Beethoven’s music.

But can babies tell when politicians are lying? Or maybe they can predict the stock market but we just haven't figured out yet how to ask them. Or maybe they understand equations for achieving controlled nuclear fusion? Just what all do babies understand, anyhow?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 July 21 05:36 PM  Brain Innate

Grim said at July 21, 2009 11:57 PM:

I've read that babies know how to swim till a certain point in development and then the knowledge is lost. My guess is the parts of the brain that contain such basic mammalian programs are then overwritten with learned knowledge for other areas. We seem to overwrite parts of our brains as well grow.

Melinda Regner said at October 9, 2011 9:35 AM:

No wonder my little brother can't get hurt playing with our japanese chin. Looks like they can understand each other.

Anyways, I'd be looking forward to that result. I wonder how'd they do that and how to ask them.

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