Did you know your baby can understand some mathematical concepts?
WORDS CHRISTEL GERALYN GOMES
In a study, scientists have found that human babies as young as six months have an innate propensity toward mathematical understanding. According to the report published in the Aug'15 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 24 infants were exposed to a videotaped puppet show by a team of scientists from the USA and Israel. The puppets were used to see if the babies understood the concepts of addition and subtraction.
The show was started with two dolls. According to the Live Science article detailing the study, “Before the show ended, a doll was removed and then the infant's vision was blocked with a screen. When the screen was taken away, either one doll was left, as expected, or two dolls, which would not be mathematically correct. The infants looked at the screen longer (8.04 seconds) when the number of dolls was two, which did not agree with the solution of 2 – 1 = 1.”
Brain activity during this test was also monitored with the babies wearing a special head net containing 128 sensors that monitored their brain activity. It was found that babies have similar brain activity to that of adults when served with correct and incorrect mathematical solutions.