Babies Can Think Before They Can Speak
[Source: Science Daily]
Two pennies can be considered the same — both are pennies, just as two elephants can be considered the same, as both are elephants. Despite the vast difference between pennies and elephants, we easily notice the common relation of sameness that holds for both pairs.
Analogical ability — the ability to see common relations between objects, events or ideas — is a key skill that underlies human intelligence and differentiates humans from other apes.
While there is considerable evidence that preschoolers can learn abstract relations, it remains an open question whether infants can as well. In a new Northwestern University study, researchers found that infants are capable of learning the abstract relations of same and different after only a few examples.
“This suggests that a skill key to human intelligence is present very early in human development, and that language skills are not necessary for learning abstract relations,” said lead author Alissa Ferry, who conducted the research at Northwestern.
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