Viewing the world though a baby's eyes

Oct 26, 2005

Researchers at The University of Nottingham are studying the way in which babies look at colours and numbers in an attempt to find out more about how they view the world around them.

The Baby Lab research facility is testing babies as young as three months old to find out whether they recognise differences between colours and numbers and how this impacts on the way children develop in their early years.

The work also looks at which colours and colour combinations children prefer, which could be used to inform the design of early learning toys and other baby-related products.

Dr Gaia Scerif, who is leading the project in the University's School of Psychology, said: “The main focus of the project is looking at whether we can find early predictors of later development. We are interested in finding out why some children learn more quickly than others or in a different way. For example, if babies like looking at certain colours, does this influence the way in which they learn to name those colours?”

Testing babies involved carefully measuring what attracts their attention. For example, a colour or number of dots is repeatedly shown to a baby on a screen until the baby becomes bored and looks away. A new colour or number of dots is then shown instead. If this attracts the infant's attention and they can detect the change they will look for a long time at the new information. The researchers use a small camera mounted above the screen to track where the babies are looking and to time how long the babies spend looking at each colour or number of dots.

So far, the research has shown that babies like to look at blue, red, purple and orange, while they don't like looking at browns and greys. Intriguingly, brown and grey are also the colours toddlers find most difficult to name.

The Baby Lab is the latest facility to be unveiled as part of the research programme conducted by the Nottingham Toddler Lab, which was launched last year and looks at the development during the pre-school years. The researchers are currently recruiting parents of babies and toddlers who are willing to take part in the study. They hope by testing the babies as they grow older — first in the Baby Lab and later in the Toddler Lab — they will be able to build a unique picture of how children develop during their early years.

Source: University of Nottingham

Explore further: Not just the poor live hand-to-mouth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The ups and downs of getting grumpy bears to have sex

Apr 08, 2014

There is nothing intrinsic to pandas that makes them bad at breeding. It is true that they only have one menstrual cycle each year, but this is true of many creatures. Animals that have multiple cycles per ...

Anthropologist turns to the alpaca

Apr 02, 2014

D. Andrew Merriwether ambles into his lab wearing a green T-shirt, a weathered Binghamton University ball cap and a graying ponytail. He ignores the birthday cake on the bench (chocolate frosting with peanut butter cups) ...

Face it: Instagram pictures with faces are more popular

Mar 20, 2014

Like them or not, there's more proof that selfies aren't going away any time soon. Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs researchers looked at 1.1 million photos on Instagram and found that pictures ...

Recommended for you

Not just the poor live hand-to-mouth

4 hours ago

When the economy hits the skids, government stimulus checks to the poor sometimes follow. Stimulus programs—such as those in 2001, 2008 and 2009—are designed to boost the economy quickly by getting cash ...

Math modeling handbook now available

7 hours ago

Math comes in handy for answering questions about a variety of topics, from calculating the cost-effectiveness of fuel sources and determining the best regions to build high-speed rail to predicting the spread ...

Archaeologists, tribe clash over Native remains

8 hours ago

Archaeologists and Native Americans are clashing over Indian remains and artifacts that were excavated during a construction project in the San Francisco Bay Area, but then reburied at an undisclosed location.

Male-biased tweeting

10 hours ago

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

Developing nations ride a motorcycle boom

11 hours ago

Asia's rapidly developing economies should prepare for a full-throttle increase in motorcycle numbers as average incomes increase, a new study from The Australian National University has found.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Not just the poor live hand-to-mouth

When the economy hits the skids, government stimulus checks to the poor sometimes follow. Stimulus programs—such as those in 2001, 2008 and 2009—are designed to boost the economy quickly by getting cash ...

Male-biased tweeting

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

Archaeologists, tribe clash over Native remains

Archaeologists and Native Americans are clashing over Indian remains and artifacts that were excavated during a construction project in the San Francisco Bay Area, but then reburied at an undisclosed location.

Math modeling handbook now available

Math comes in handy for answering questions about a variety of topics, from calculating the cost-effectiveness of fuel sources and determining the best regions to build high-speed rail to predicting the spread ...