Scientists find infants develop imagination earlier than thought

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the Central European University found that babies at the age of 14 months can already independently consider several alternatives for the development of events.

The researchers showed 10- and 12-month-old infants video animation in which three different objects (a doll, a toy elephant, and a ball) moved on two screens.

All objects had the same upper part. When an object appeared on one of the screens, it was visible in its entirety, on the second the lower part was closed.

Scientists have created several scenarios: in one case, the upper part was compatible with only one option, for example, with an elephant, in others – with two.

When the children were shown the animations, the researchers recorded their pupil diameters so they could compare their responses to different animations.

The study found that the pupils of 14-month-old babies dilated more when they looked at a scene with multiple options.

According to scientists, the increase in pupils indicates an enhanced mental process and imagination – the child at this moment thinks through all possible scenarios.

The ability to imagine and compare several possible scenarios plays an extremely important role in human life.

These results show that the foundation for imagination and the ability to think about alternative possibilities is laid very early, even before children learn to speak.

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