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Article: The Baby Brain: Are Babies More Conscious Than Adults?

Alison Gopnik

The Baby Brain: Are Babies More Conscious Than Adults?

Ever wonder why babies sleep so much, or why your toddler seems to show empathy? Do educational toys work? What do TV and DVD do for early childhood development?  How do babies learn so much so fast?

A new book by child psychologist Alison Gopnik called The Philisophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life illuminates some of the mysterious workings of the baby brain. Gopnik argues that with all the new information babies are constantly processing, they are more conscious than adults. An interview with Gopnik on sheds light on some of these fascinating questions. Says Gopnik:
"One takeaway is that the billion-dollar industry of quote-unquote educational toys that are supposed to make your baby smarter is a boondoggle. There's no evidence that any of those things make a difference. Children are learning the way that other people's minds work, which is much more important to learn than even letters and numbers. I'm afraid the parenting advice to come out of developmental psychology is very boring: pay attention to your kids and love them."
Sounds like good advice to us.

1 comment

what a fascinating theory. i would go further to argue that some children’s toys are over-stimulating and can lead to irritation and frustration. ever seen a kid go to town with a simple cardboard box? the creation of imaginary environments and props from simple toy elements allows room for creative growth where flashing lights, noises, and colors cannot, in my opinion.


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