Viewing the world though a baby's eyes

October 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: Study finds new feature of 'baby talk' in any language

Related Stories

Sleeping on your back increases risks of stillbirth

October 12, 2017

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day on Oct. 15, 2017 draws our attention to a bleak statistic—an estimated one in four pregnancies end in a loss. Many of these are early miscarriages. But in Canada about one in 125 ...

An engineer's guide to the embryo

October 11, 2017

In roughly 48 hours, the single cell of the fertilized frog egg will undergo dramatic change to develop vital body parts like muscles, a skeleton, eyes, a heart, and a tadpole tail. Scientists have been studying this process ...

Recommended for you

Spider-web 'labyrinths' may help reduce noise pollution

October 17, 2017

(Phys.org)—Researchers have demonstrated that the geometry of a natural spider web can be used to design new structures that address one of the biggest challenges in sound control: reducing low-frequency noise, which is ...

In search of the ninth planet

October 17, 2017

A University of Michigan doctoral student has logged two pieces of evidence that may support the existence of a planet that could be part of our solar system, beyond Neptune.

A new way to harness wasted methane

October 17, 2017

Methane gas, a vast natural resource, is often disposed of through burning, but new research by scientists at MIT could make it easier to capture this gas for use as fuel or a chemical feedstock.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.