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Infant Understanding of the World

The first social manifestations of a newborn child are associated with physiological needs (food, drink, thermal comfort, movement, absence of pain, comfortable body position). The human brain begins to learn, explore and adapt to the world around it while still in the womb. With the help of modern technology, scientists track the development of the infant’s brain – from the last months in the womb to birth and over the next few weeks.

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Thus, infants have some idea of the world because they can hear and perceive the surrounding reality even in the womb. Despite congenital reflexes (protective, sucking, searching reflexes), infants also have conditioned ones. According to experimental data, an infant can remember events, which, in turn, means that he can develop conditioned reflexes to external influences (Clerkin et al. 2017). In many areas, infants’ awareness of their surroundings is learned through habituation and surprise concerning change. Babies understand that an object that slides and must hit an obstacle in its path but calmly drives through the block further violates physical laws. That is, their ability to understand the world around them is pretty high.

Babies’ understanding of their surroundings is also learned in many other areas through habituation and surprise about change. For the nervous system, the weight of a motor organ, the importance of a part of our body is one of the conditions that must be considered when building a movement program. The movement program that the brain makes for the hand is designed for a certain weight. If people instantly change the importance of a limb, the nervous system rearranges the movement program.

It turns out that a child who “sees” physical laws, to use them, must still be able to control programs of actions that are built based on the visible. At the age of one year, children can recognize the intention to refuse to receive a toy and its reason. They see the difference between situations where an adult is distracted and therefore cannot serve a toy, when he prohibits the toy, or when he has not heard and therefore does not serve the toy that the child asks for.

Work Cited

Clerkin, Elizabeth M., Hart, Elizabeth, Rehg, James M, Yu, Chen and Linda B. Smith. “Real-world visual statistics and infants’ first-learned object names”. The Royal Society Publishing, vol. 372, no. 1711, 2017, pp. 213-218.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Infant Understanding of the World." December 5, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/infant-understanding-of-the-world/.

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