Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Gopnik , Meltzoff , Kuhl (2001-01-01), The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind, Harper Paperbacks, Retrieved on 2011-07-06
Folksonomies: education parenting pregnancy babies children infancy

Memes

06 JUL 2011

 Scientists and Babies Belong Together

Scientists and children belong together in another way. The new research shows that babies and young children know and learn more about the world than we could ever have imagined. They think, draw conclusions, make predictions, look for explanations, and even do experiments. Scientists and children belong together because they are the best learners in the universe. And that means that ordinary adults also have more powerful learning abilities than we might have thought. Grown-ups, after all, ...
Folksonomies: culture scientists babies
Folksonomies: culture scientists babies
  1  notes

Both are devoted to learning.

06 JUL 2011

 Babies are Little Mars Rovers

Walk upstairs, open the door gently, and look in the crib. What do you see? Most of us see a picture of innocence and helplessness, a clean slate. But, in fact, what we see in the crib is the greatest mind that has ever existed, the most powerful learning machine in the universe. The tiny fingers and mouth are exploration devices that probe the alien world around them with more precision than any Mars rover. The crumpled ears take a buzz of incomprehensible noise and flawlessly turn it into m...
Folksonomies: metaphors babies learning
Folksonomies: metaphors babies learning
  1  notes

They are incredibly powerful learning machines.

06 JUL 2011

 Piaget's View on Child Learning

Piaget concluded that babies aren't just born in possession of adult knowledge, either from a past life or from DNA. Instead, Piaget thought that children must have powerful learning mechanisms that allow them to construct new pictures of the world, pictures that might be very different from the adult picture. When we learn about the world, when we do science. for example, we don't just hit the right answer once and for all. Rather, there is a very gradual unfolding sequence of corrected erro...
Folksonomies: babies learning childhood
Folksonomies: babies learning childhood
 1  1  notes

Learning is natural, innate.

06 JUL 2011

 Vygotsky's View of Child Learning

Vygotsky saw that adults, and especially parents, were a kind of tool that children used to solve the problem of knowledge. in contrast to our—probably necessary—parental megalomania. Vygotsky noticed, for example, how adults, quite unconsciously, adjusted their behavior to give children just the information they needed to solve the problems that were most important to them. Children used adults to discover the particularities of their culture and society. But Vygotsky also thought that...
  1  notes

Parents and culture are a crucial part of child learning.

06 JUL 2011

 Skinner and Freud's View of Child Learning

The theories that did dominate psychology, especially in America, were Freudianism and the behaviorism of psychologists like B. F. Skinner. Both theories had lots of things to say about young children. But like Aristotle with the teeth, neither Freud nor Skinner took the step of doing systematic experiments with children or babies. Freud largely relied on inferences from the behavior of neurotic adults, and Skinner on inferences from the behavior of only slightly less neurotic rats. And like ...
Folksonomies: psychology inference
Folksonomies: psychology inference
  1  notes

They got it mostly wrong because they relied on a philosophical inference method of science.

06 JUL 2011

 The Romantic View of Birth

You're lying in bed in the labor room of the hospital and you're about as exhausted, as utterly worn out, as you'll ever be. Giving birth is this peculiar combination of determination and compulsion. It's you pushing, and you push in a more concentrated, focused way than you've ever done anything, but in another sense you don't decide or try to push or even want to. You are just swept away by the action. It's like a cross between running a marathon and having the most enormous. shattering, ir...
Folksonomies: pregnancy labor birth
Folksonomies: pregnancy labor birth
  1  notes

A beautiful description of the idealized version of labor and bonding with the newborn.

06 JUL 2011

 Experimental Methods for Understanding Babies

But why should you believe us instead of those benighted experts who thought babies couldn't really see? How can we say we actually do know what babies think? With the help of videotape, scientists have developed ingenious experimental techniques to ask babies what they know. One whole set of techniques has been designed to answer two simple questions: Do babies think that two things are the same or different? And if they think they're different, do they prefer one to the other? You can prese...
  1  notes

Methods for knowing what's going on in a babies brain when exposed to various stimuli.

06 JUL 2011

 Babies Flirt

There are other reasons to think that even very young babies are especially tuned to people. Babies flirt. One of the great pleasures in life is to hold a three-month-old in your arms and talk absolute nonsense. "My, my, my," you hear your usually sane, responsible, professional voice saying, "you are a pretty bunny, aren't you, aren't you, aren't you, sweetums, aren't you a pretty bunny?" You raise your eyebrows and purse your mouth and make ridiculous faces. But the even more striking thing...
Folksonomies: motherhood babies bonding
Folksonomies: motherhood babies bonding
  1  notes

The back and forth of goo-goo eyes and cooing between mothers and their babies is a flirtatious bonding.

07 JUL 2011

 Babies Look to Mothers for Cues on How to React to the World

Other experiments also show that one-year-olds have a radically new understanding of people. What happens when you show a baby something new, something a little strange, maybe wonderful, maybe dangerous—say, a walking toy robot? The baby looks over at Mom quizzically and checks her out. What does she think? Is there a reassuring smile or an expression of shocked horror? One-year-olds will modify their own reactions accordingly. If there's a smile, they'll crawl forward to investigate; if th...
Folksonomies: babies learning development
Folksonomies: babies learning development
  1  notes

When presented with an unknown, the infant will look to the mother's expression to understand how it should react and if it should engage.

07 JUL 2011

 When Babies Learn About Perspective

Alison and Andy designed an experiment to test this idea further. First they set up an imitation game: you give the toy to me and I'll give it to you; you put the sticker on my hand and I'll put it on your hand. Children are very good at this and love doing it. Then Alison and Andy put a screen on the table between the experimenter and the child. The experimenter hid a toy from the child by placing it on her side of the screen. Then she gave the toy to the child and asked him to hide it from ...
Folksonomies: babies learning development
Folksonomies: babies learning development
  1  notes

Before the age of three, babies learn that the perspective of other people differs from their own.

07 JUL 2011

 Babies Don't Remember How They Learned Things

Alison has done other experiments that point in a similar direction. For example, three-year-olds seem to be unable to remember how they learned about something, even when the events took place only a few moments before. In one study the experimenter hid a cup under a cloth "tunnel," a wire arch covered with cloth, with an opening at either end. Children found out what was underneath the tunnel in one of three ways: they picked up the tunnel and saw the cup, they put their hands in the tunnel...
Folksonomies: babies learning memory
Folksonomies: babies learning memory
  1  notes

Around the age of three, children are unable to explain how they learned things, calling into question their testimony in legal cases since their memories can be implanted without knowing their origin.

07 JUL 2011

 Learning Different Perspectives Makes Children Better Liars

Children's discoveries about belief also have consequences for other aspects of their relations to people. To deceive peopie, or to recognize that they are deceiving you, you need to be able to understand the differences between what they believe and what you believe. Doing that depends on understanding the way beliefs work. It depends on knowing what you have to do to make someone believe something that isn't actually true. Two- and three-year-olds are such terrible liars. they hardly qualif...
Folksonomies: babies learning development
Folksonomies: babies learning development
  1  notes

Before they understand that other people have different perspectives, children make terrible liars.

08 JUL 2011

 Teaching Babies Science

But we also have some more direct evidence for the idea that children learn like scientists. Alison and Virginia Slaughter, one of her students, looked at three-year-old children who didn't yet fully understand belief—children who still said they had always thought that there were pencils in the candy box. Then, over the course of a few weeks, Virginia gave the children systematic evidence that their predictions were false. She told them firmly that they hadn't said pencils at all, they had...
  1  notes

Having children predict something and then systematically demonstrating how their prediction is false makes them more capable of understanding how beliefs work.

08 JUL 2011

 Babies Can Predict Trajectories

1. If you show very young babies a video of a static Big Bird that then explodes into its separately defined parts, they won't be perturbed. Because all the parts had separate edges anyway, they may, for all the babies know. have been separate objects to begin with. But if you show them Big Bird moving first, so that they see that all the parts of the object move together, and then show them the exploding Big Bird, they'll look much longer and more attentively, as if they recognize that somet...
Folksonomies: babies cognition
Folksonomies: babies cognition
  1  notes

If an object moving at a trajectory disappears behind a screen, the baby will look longer at the other end of the screen if it does not reappear at the proper time and place.

08 JUL 2011

 John Locke VS Babies

Another great English philosopher, John Locke, posed another classical epistemological problem. What would happen if you miraculously restored the sight of someone who had been blind from birth? Would that person recognize all the objects he had known so intimately through touch, or would he have to painstakingly learn that the smooth, hard, curved surface looked like a porcelain teacup, or that the familiar, soft, yielding swells and silky hairs translated into a visual wife? Locke thought t...
  1  notes

Locke wondered if a blind person given sight would need to learn how to associate this new sense with the others, but babies make these associations instinctively.

08 JUL 2011

 Psychological VS Mechanical Causality in Infant Understan...

As scientists we think that everything is mediated by physical causality of some sort, including our interactions with other people. There are, in fact, light and sound waves that go from one person to another even if we can't see them with the naked eye. But from our everyday point of view, it appears we are able to influence people without any direct physical contact at all. (It's probably that fact that makes telepathy seem plausible to so many people.) After all, just looking at someone a...
  1  notes

Babies learn the differences between psychological and physical causality, before this they tend to make the mistake of using psychological means to influence the physical world... Magical thinking in adults may be a holdover of this habit.

08 JUL 2011

 When Babies Learn Categorization

However, there is some surprising evidence that young babies are actually not particularly interested if a blue toy car goes in one edge of the screen and a yellow toy duck emerges at the far edge on the same trajectory! A grown-up would assume the duck that came out was brand-new and the other toy was still there behind the screen. But young babies seem content to think the toy somehow magically became a new kind of thing behind the screen. The particular kind of category-crossing magic tric...
  1  notes

By three years of age, children develop a fairly sophisticated sense of categorization. Perhaps a playing close attention to taxonomy will benefit the child at this stage in their development.

08 JUL 2011

 The Nature of Language Affects a Child's Understanding of...

It turns out that, just by the nature of the grammar of their languages, Korean- and English-speaking parents talk about the world quite differently. Korean (like Latin or French) uses an elaborate system of different verb endings to convey different meanings. As a consequence, Korean-speaking parents can, and often do, omit nouns altogether when they talk to their children. A Korean mother can say the equivalent of "moving in" when she sees the baby put a block in a cup, without saying anyth...
  1  notes

Korean mothers focus of describing the world in verbs, English mothers focus on nouns; as a result, Korean children are better physical problem solvers while English children are better at understanding how objects fit together associatively.

08 JUL 2011

 Babies Learn The Sounds of Their Language

We mentioned that part of what makes learning language difficult is that languages carve up sounds and different Ianguages carve them up differently. A wide variety of different sounds, with very different spectrograms, will all seem like the same sound to us, and, in turn, that sound will seem sharply different from other sounds that are actually quite similar to it physically. Suppose you use a speech synthesizer to gradually and continuously change one particular feature of a sound, such a...
Folksonomies: babies infancy language
Folksonomies: babies infancy language
  1  notes

When a language does not make a clear distinction between two sounds, the children of that language cannot hear the distinction in other languages.

08 JUL 2011

 Babies Can Distinguish Sounds Adults Cannot

Why do the speakers of different languages hear and produce sounds so differently? Ears and mouths are the same the world over. What differs is our brains. Exposure to a particular language has altered our brains and shaped our minds, so that we perceive sounds differently. This in turn leads speakers of different languages to produce sounds differently. When and how do babies start to do this? Do they start out listening like a computer, with no categorical distinctions? Or do they start out...
Folksonomies: babies development language
Folksonomies: babies development language
  1  notes

Before a baby learns the sounds of their language, they can distinguish the sounds of any language. Later, they are unable to distinguish the non-categorized sounds when produced in other languages.

08 JUL 2011

 The Baby Naming Explosion

Initially children use just a few names, mostly for familiar things and people. But when they are still just beginning to talk, many babies will suddenly start naming everything and asking for the names of everything they see. In fact, what'sat? is itself often one of the earliest words. An eighteen-monthold baby will go into a triumphant frenzy of pointing and naming: "What'sat! Dog! What'sat! Clock! What'sat juice, spoon. orange, high chair, clock! Clock! Clock!" Often this is the point at ...
  1  notes

When babies start to learn to talk, they embark on a naming-spree where it is easy for a parent to imprint names onto things that the child will remember.

08 JUL 2011

 How Motherese Teaches Babies Language

The tests show that babies' preferences have nothing to do with the actual words mothers use. Babies choose motherese (or "parentese" or "caretakerese") even when the speaker is talking in a foreign language so infants can't understand the words, or when the words have been filtered out using computer techniques and only the pitch of the voice remains. Apparently they choose motherese not just because it's how their mother talks but because they like the way it sounds. Motherese is a sort of ...
Folksonomies: babies development language
Folksonomies: babies development language
 1  1  notes

With its characteristic slow, repetitive enunciation of the words in culture's language, Motherese seems like an instinctual way a mother habituates their child to the sound categorizations of their language. This begs the question: if the Motherese imitates the sounds of another language, would that stave off the child's failure to distinguish foreign sounds later on?

08 JUL 2011

 Working with a Black Box Problem and Star Trek

The job of computer scientists, of course, is to design the programs that let electronic computers accomplish those impressive feats of thinking and knowing. The computer scientists have to figure out how to make programs that get to the right kind of output from the right kind of input. But our job as cognitive psychologists is rather different and even harder. We are more like archaeologists than engineers. Actually, it's a familiar Star Trek story. We have landed on a planet that already...
  1  notes

When we are exploring a black box, we are like the archaeologists in Star Trek.

08 JUL 2011

 Nature VS Nurture in Child Development

When a three-month-old, a one-year-old, and a four-year-old look at the same event, they seem to have very different thoughts about it. They seem to transform the light waves and sound waves into different representations, and they use different rules to manipulate those representations. Children don't have just a single, fixed program that gets from input to output. Instead, they seem to switch spontaneously from using one program to using another, more powerful program. That makes babies an...
  1  notes

Are babies programmed to go through their cognitive developments or are they the natural result of their reaching a certain critical mass of understanding?

08 JUL 2011

 Babies are Scientists

Babies start out believing that there are profound similarities between their own mind and the minds of others. That belief gives them a jump start in solving the Other Minds problem. But during the first three years they also observe the differences in what people do and say. Those differences stem from the fact that all minds aren't actually entirely alike. Babies and young children watch and listen with careful focused interest as their mother refuses to let them touch the lamp cord or as ...
  1  notes

Their drive to play is a drive to explore, they are equipped with the cognitive and physical tools to explore their world and feed their curiosity about it.

08 JUL 2011

 Children Learn New Languages More Easily Than Adults

Other, less tragic kinds of evidence also support this idea. Most people have a much more difficult time learning a second language late in life than they do in childhood. Immigrants may try to learn the language of their new country, only to be outdone by their own children. When we visit a foreign country for a while, our kids seem to be happily chatting with the other kids in the playground, while we are still painfully looking through the phrase books. When we learn a second language past...
  1  notes

It is best to teach someone a new language when they are young and their brain is more plastic.

08 JUL 2011

 Parenting is Responsibility Without Power

Raising children is an intrinsically difficult and uncertain job in ways that science can't really address. For most of us parents there is literally nothing more important than the well-being of our children. There are not many things we could imagine giving our lives for, but we could give our lives for them. And, in a less melodramatic way, of course, we do give our lives for them. For fifteen or twenty years our everyday energy, our individual liberty, our income, our attention, our conce...
  1  notes

The parent's job is to be completely responsible for the child, but ultimately raise them to be completely autonomous, rendering the parent powerless over them.

08 JUL 2011

 Science Protects us from Child-Rearing Pseudoscience

We want certainty, and that leaves us open to fraud. Mothers used to lie awake listening to their babies scream because the experts said not to pick the baby up or to feed "off schedule." They might well have felt that bloodletting would have been preferable. One benefit of knowing the science is a kind of protective skepticism. It should make us deeply suspicious of any enterprise that offers a formula for making babies smarter or teaching them more, from flash cards to Mozart tapes to Bet...
  1  notes

Like Baby Einstein videos and doctors who say the baby should be allowed to cry alone all night.

08 JUL 2011

 Workplaces Conducive to Raising Children

We could also immediately change workplaces to allow for part-time work that has similar benefits and pay to full-time work and to allow for flexible hours and career paths. Our own workplaces, the universities, provide both very good and very bad examples. For years professors have worked at home and determined their own schedules with no loss of productivity. On the other hand, the career structure of universities is deeply in conflict with the imperatives of evolution—the years when we e...
Folksonomies: parenting children
Folksonomies: parenting children
  1  notes

Academia seems like it could be condusive, due to the independence and freedom; however, the long and demanding hours make it less than ideal. Telecommuting offers the ability to multitask like our ancestors.

08 JUL 2011

 Looking at babies attentively makes us treat them differe...

Until very recently doctors didn't use analgesia when they operated on small babies, because they thought their minds were too primitive to really feel pain or to remember it if they did. This is a dramatic example, but it often seems as if we discount children's pain compared with adult pain. Child abuse isn't evil because it may produce neurotic adults but because it abuses children. Divorce doesn't have a cost because it may produce adults who have difficulty with relationships but because...
  1  notes

Seeing babies as young adults makes us treat them humanely; whereas, in the past, babies were denied analgesia because it was thought that their primitive minds did not sense pain the way an adult's mind did.

08 JUL 2011

 Scientists Emulate Babies

We think there are very strong similarities between some particular types of early learning—learning about objects and about the mind, in particular—and scientific theory change. In fact, we think they are not just similar but identical. We don't just think that the baby computers have the same general structure as the adult-scientist computers, in the way that perceptual learning and artistic learning and political learning may all have the same general structure. We think that children ...
  1  notes

We have even institutionalized an environment of infancy for scientists in academia, where they are allowed to explore freely in general research, understanding that the discoveries made there may hold great benefits for the human race. This meme also suggests that free inquiry is an important aspect of raising children and maintaining an environment of free inquiry for parents is important as well.

08 JUL 2011

 Baby's Cognitive Development Summarized

What are the babies' representations and rules like? First, the babies' representations are rich and complex. As we've seen, they include ideas about how their face resembles the faces of others, how objects move, and how the sounds of a language are divided. The young babies' world is not simple. Babies translate the input at their eyes and ears into a world full of people with animated, expressive faces and captivating. intricate, rhythmic voices. It's also a world full of objects with co...
  1  notes

The sequence of events in a child's development indicates that it's not all learned, there is a programming in the brain that follows a natural course, ready for the world.

07 JUL 2011

 When Babies Develop a Theory of Mind

By the time babies are about one-and-a-half yearsrs old, they start to understand the nature of these differences between people and to be fascinated by them. Again we can demonstrate this systematically. Alison and one of her students, Betty Repacholi, showed babies two bowls of food, one full of delicious Goldfish crackers and one full of raw broccoli. All the babies, even in Berkeley, preferred the crackers. Then Betty tasted each bowl of food. She made a delighted face and said. 'Yum," to...
  1  notes

The "terrible twos" is a period of conflict because the infant is developing a theory of mind and they are learning that other people do not share the same likes and dislikes as themselves; therefore, they test these differences.

08 JUL 2011

 Babies Categorize Sounds Before Words

As they hear us talk, babies are busily grouping the sounds they hear into the right categories, the categories their particular language uses. By one year of age, babies' speech categories begin to resemble those of the adults in their culture. Pat conducted some even more complicated experiments with Swedish babies using simple vowels to see how early they start organizing the sounds of their language in an adult-like way. She showed that at six months the process has already begun. The six...
Folksonomies: babies development language
Folksonomies: babies development language
  1  notes

Babies learn the sounds of their language, which gives them the ability to distinguish and categorize words later on.