Tag Archives: infants

Costly rejection of Wrongdoers by Infants and Children

How unappealing are individuals who behave badly towards others? We show here that children and even infants, although motivated by material rewards, are nonetheless willing to incur costs to avoid “doing business” with a wrongdoer. When given the choice to … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Cognitive development, Cooperation, Infants, Social cognition | Tagged , , , ,

Fairness Expectations and Altruistic Sharing in 15-Month-Old Infants

Human cooperation is a key driving force behind the evolutionary success of our hominin lineage. At the proximate level, biologists and social scientists have identified other-regarding preferences – such as fairness based on egalitarian motives, and altruism – as likely … Continue reading

Posted in Altruism, Children, Cooperation, Fairness, Infants | Tagged , , , ,

Two-year-old Children differentiate Test Questions from Genuine Questions

Children are frequently confronted with so-called ‘ test questions’. While genuine questions are requests for missing information, test questions ask for information obviously already known to the questioner. In this study we explored whether two-year-old children respond differentially to one … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Infants, Questions, Relational | Tagged , , ,

21-Month-Olds Understand the Cooperative Logic of Requests

Human communication rests on a basic assumption of partner cooperativeness, including even requesting. In the current study, an adult made an ambiguous request for an object to 21-month-old infants, with one potential referent being right in front of her and … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Cooperation, Infants, Logic, Thinking | Tagged , , , ,

The Surprisingly Logical Minds of Babies

In particular, in my lab in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, I have spent the past decade trying to understand the mystery of how children learn so much from so little so quickly. Because, it turns … Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Children, Cognition, Cognitive neuroscience, Infants, Minds | Tagged , , , , ,

Noam Chomsky on how Kids Acquire Language & Ideas

Noam Chomsky became internationally famous for proposing a novel solution to an age-old question: what does a baby know? After years of research, Chomsky proposed that newborns have a hard-wired ability to understand grammar. Language acquisition is as elemental to … Continue reading

Posted in Infants, Language, Learning, Linguistic, Mind | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Infants Learning Words from Pictures

This experiment was designed to clarify the referential status of infants’ newly learned words. We introduced 15- and 17-month-olds to a novel noun, presented in conjunction with pictures of two whisks that differed in color. We asked whether infants would … Continue reading

Posted in Infants, Learning | Tagged ,

Infants are Big Thinkers

Psychologists at Harvard University have found that infants younger than a year old understand social dominance and use relative size to predict who will prevail when two individuals’ goals conflict. Lead author Lotte Thomsen says the work suggests that we … Continue reading

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The Developmental Origin of Metacognition

We explain metacognition as a management of cognitive resources that does not necessitate algorithmic strategies or  meta-representation. When pragmatic, world-directed actions cannot reduce the distance to the goal, agents engage in epistemic action directed at cognition. Such actions often are … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural cognition, Culture, Development, Infants, Metacognition | Tagged , , , ,

Natural Pedagogy

We propose that human communication is specifically adapted to allow the transmission of generic knowledge between individuals. Such a communication system, which we call ‘natural pedagogy’, enables fast and efficient social learning of cognitively opaque cultural knowledge that would be … Continue reading

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