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Babies Use Sophisticated Reasoning To Make Sense Of The Physical World - featured May 30, 2011

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[Source: Medical News Today]

Scientists have found that even before they can talk, babies use sophisticated reasoning to make sense of the physical world around them, combining abstract principles with knowledge from observation to form surprisingly advanced expectations of how new situations will develop.

The international team of scientists developed a computer model of how babies reason that accurately predicts their surprise when objects don't behave in the way they expect.

A paper on their latest work, co-led by Josh Tenenbaum of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, and Luca Bonatti of the Instituci├│ Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avan├žats at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, appeared online this week in the journal Science.

The team designed the computer model to follow the principle of "pure reasoning", that is to predict what happens next, based on what has already been observed. However, the model also contains an element that differentiates humans from other organisms: the ability, guided by abstract concepts, to form rational expectations about new situations never previously encountered.


Read the Rest of this Article on Medical News Today

Tags: News of the Week Newsletter 3 June 2011