March 28, 2011


A Typical 10-month-old on Piaget’s A-not-B task (by munakatay)

 

A-not-B error (also known as “stage 4 error” or “perseverative error”) is a phenomenon uncovered by the work of Jean Piaget. The A-not-B error is a particular error made by infants during substage 4 of their sensorimotor stage.

A typical task goes like this: An experimenter hides an attractive toy under box “A” within the baby’s reach. The baby searches for the toy, looks under box “A”, and finds the toy. This activity is usually repeated several times. Then, in the critical trial, the experimenter moves the toy under box “B”, also within easy reach of the baby. Babies of 10 months or younger typically make the perseverance error, meaning they look under box “A.” This demonstrates a lack of, or incomplete, schema of object permanence. Children over the age of of 12 months typically do not make this error.

(explanation courtesy of wikipedia)

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March 19, 2012


In light of the proliferation of articles called things like “Shut up about your baby” or “I don’t care about your baby,” I realized that I am duty-bound to let all you parents new and old know that there is a whole other faction out there that I am a part of: those of us who do care about your baby — so, so much.

I love your baby. If I find out that you have a baby, I will ask to to see pictures of it. If I find your baby’s looks pleasing, I will want regular photographs delivered to my inbox.

…I want to hang out with your baby. If you bring your baby into the office, I do not need to have ever met you before to hightail it to your baby. If your baby is on one side of the room, and a taco buffet is on the other side of the room, well…that’s a tough one. Hopefully I can do both.

I want to look in your baby’s stroller. I want to make faces and wave and smile dopily at your baby for literally hours, if I can.

…I think parents with cute babies in a public space should be required to parade around with the baby in the air Simba-style so we can all get a good look at it. Seriously, you know people want to see that shit.

I want to see the latest pictures of your baby on Facebook, and hear about the latest cute thing your baby did. I want to see your baby in different oufit and poses and especially, especially in a Halloween costume.

I Care Exceedingly About Your Baby | xoJane

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April 30, 2012


Dr. Spelke studies babies not because they’re cute but because they’re root. “I’ve always been fascinated by questions about human cognition and the organization of the human mind,” she said, “and why we’re good at some tasks and bad at others.”
But the adult mind is far too complicated, Dr. Spelke said, “too stuffed full of facts” to make sense of it. In her view, the best way to determine what, if anything, humans are born knowing, is to go straight to the source, and consult the recently born.
(via Insights in Human Knowledge, From the Minds of Babies - NYTimes.com)
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Dr. Spelke studies babies not because they’re cute but because they’re root. “I’ve always been fascinated by questions about human cognition and the organization of the human mind,” she said, “and why we’re good at some tasks and bad at others.”

But the adult mind is far too complicated, Dr. Spelke said, “too stuffed full of facts” to make sense of it. In her view, the best way to determine what, if anything, humans are born knowing, is to go straight to the source, and consult the recently born.

(via Insights in Human Knowledge, From the Minds of Babies - NYTimes.com)

add this to the list of cool places where I get to hang out

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May 13, 2012


October 5, 2012


The Center for Professional Infants - watch more funny videos

The Center for Professional Infants

It’s time to get that lazy baby off its diaper and into a job!

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November 3, 2012


I’d really like to name you something like Baby 3000 (like André 3000, but a baby), or The Thinnest Baby, or DVD Blu-Baby, or The iBaby Touch, or AT&Baby, or The Micro Baby, or The Macro Baby, or Harriet, or Babyface, or Alive Baby, or The Realest Baby Alive, or Real Live Babies (if you’re a set of twins), or Extremist Baby, or Justin Timberbaby, or Dr. Baby, or Machine Gun Baby, or Ghost Baby. Maybe even Tyler, The Baby, or The Best Baby, or Baby Luther King, Jr., or DMXBABY. Etcetera.

I’m more than prepared to name you, but can I be real? Okay, this is me being real: I’m not prepared to comb your hair.

A Letter to My Future Black Baby | The Hairpin

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December 5, 2012


From the moment of birth to the moment of tenure, throughout this great developmental progression, there are unintentional but pervasive and important differences in the ways that males and females are perceived and evaluated.

What’s more, cognitive development is robust: boys and girls show equal capacities and achievements in educational settings, including in science and mathematics, despite the very different ways in which boys and girls are perceived and evaluated. I think it’s really great news that males and females develop along common paths and gain common sets of abilities. The equal performance of males and females, despite their unequal treatment, strongly suggests that mathematical and scientific reasoning has a biological foundation, and this foundation is shared by males and females.

The question is, Why are there fewer women mathematicians and scientists?

The patterns of bias that I described provide four interconnected answers to that question. First, and most obviously, biased perceptions produce discrimination: When a group of equally qualified men and women are evaluated for jobs, more of the men will get those jobs if they are perceived to be more qualified. Second, if people are rational, more men than women will put themselves forward into the academic competition, because men will see that they’ve got a better chance for success. Academic jobs will be more attractive to men because they face better odds, will get more resources, and so forth.

Third, biased perceptions earlier in life may well deter some female students from even attempting a career in science or mathematics. If your parents feel that you don’t have as much natural talent as someone else whose objective abilities are no better than yours, that may discourage you, as Eccles’s work shows. Finally, there’s likely to be a snowball effect. All of us have an easier time imagining ourselves in careers where there are other people like us. If the first three effects perpetuate a situation where there are few female scientists and mathematicians, young girls will be less likely to see math and science as a possible life.

Liz Spelke in her 2005 debate with Steven Pinker in response to “public comments by Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard, on sex differences between men and women and how they may relate to the careers of women in science.”

(Source: edge.org)

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June 26, 2013


In short, the “baby panic”—which has by no means abated since it hit me personally—is based largely on questionable data. We’ve rearranged our lives, worried endlessly, and forgone countless career opportunities based on a few statistics about women who resided in thatched-roof huts and never saw a lightbulb. In Dunson’s study of modern women, the difference in pregnancy rates at age 28 versus 37 is only about 4 percentage points. Fertility does decrease with age, but the decline is not steep enough to keep the vast majority of women in their late 30s from having a child. And that, after all, is the whole point.

How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby? - Jean Twenge - The Atlantic

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December 6, 2013


July 28, 2014