Harvard Lab Uses Infants' Gazes to Track Cognitive Development 29630

An article in The New York Times profiles an innovative research technique in practice in Harvard University's psychology department, which is giving scientists new ways of understanding how--and when--infants learn and develop social and cognitive skills.

Elizabeth S. Spelke is a professor of psychology founded the Harvard University Laboratory for Developmental Studies to measure what infants' gazes tell us about how their brains are working and growing. What Spelke and her colleagues learn has implications for both child development and adult psychology.

The article goes on to describe some of the things Spelke has discovered about infant brains, including that they babies expect physical objects to remain consistent, can understand the basics of "more" and "less," and have no ability to orient themselves based on landmarks or physical cues.

Image: Baby with flash card, via Shutterstock.