“Our research shows that even the youngest babies have learning abilities that are more powerful than those of the smartest scientists and most advanced computers,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Professor Alison Gopnik from the University of California, Berkeley, as saying.
Gopnik is an American psychologist and philosopher trying to understand how how babies see the world around them.
Gopnik, author of ‘The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love and the Meaning of Life,’ said that the reason why humans have a much longer period of helplessness as babies than other animals could be that it gives them time to learn about the world and other people, while their brains are still plastic and many new neural connections can form.
Babies are the “research and development division of the human species” who are more conscious of events around them than adults, she said.
Gopnik advises parents to let children learn naturally through exploration and curiosity rather than educational videos or flash cards.
Adults can also learn from infants by “seeing the world with children’s eyes”, she said.
Her research on the amazing baby brain is also aimed, in part, at identifying ways for scientists and computers to improve their performance.