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Infants: Blind Imitation Less Logic

Infants: Blind Imitation Less Logic

(ePharmaNews) - Most parents see the features of "intelligence and ingenuity" in the eyes of their children since the early stages of consciousness, especially when they begin to exercise things meaningfully like turning the lights on or playing with mobile devices. Phrases such as "my child is older than his age" or "Despite his young age he understood everything" are common statement that parents say all the time, but recent studies may disappoint their hopes, as a recent study concluded that babies act spontaneously and without any logic, and in accordance with the behavior that they are provided by their surroundings.

Imitating the behavior of adults is considered one of the most important steps that infants depend on in learning, and it has received a great deal of studying to understand its role and mechanism. In 2002, the results of a study published showed the presence of cognitive abilities in children starting from the age of 14 months, and that children imitate logical acts which can be interpreted, while reluctant to imitate unjustifiable acts. This theory depended on a study where researchers put children aged 14 months in a room and told someone to press the light button by his head. They found that 70% of children imitated the same behavior when this person was able to use his hands, while the percentage of children who imitated this behavior decreased to 20% when the same person was tied-handed.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that children did the imitation after examining the situation in a logical sense, they imitated the first person because they had seen his hands free, yet, he used his head which means a logical reason must exist for that, while they did not imitate the same person when his hands were tied because they did not find an excuse to imitate him while their hands were free.
The results seems amazing, but this was ten years ago. Today the PLos one magazine published the results of a recent research that aimed to shed some light on the previous study and interpret its results.
A team of researchers at Max Planck institute led by Dr. Miriam Pesert repeated the same study but with a different standpoint, as they considered that hand restriction in the previous study distracted children concentration, which prevent them from imitating.

In this study, the team gave the child a period of time to cope with the experience room and to get used to see the tied hands. They found that the rate of imitation rose from 20%, according to the previous study, back to the 70%, which means the movement ability of the hand did not have any effect on the tendency of children to mimic the behavior.
Here, Dr. Berst explains by saying: "If we assume a minimum of logical thinking in infants, the presence of a blanket on the hands disabling the movement for a long time was supposed to lead to even a simple decrease in the rate of imitation "

Adding: "With these results we can now rule out the role of logical thinking as a cause that makes infants during this age imitate certain acts without the other."

Humorously, that means we can teach our children during this age to play piano using the nose and to turn on the light by their toes!

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Prepared by: Houssam Nahhas

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