Babies’ Hunger to Learn Has a ‘Goldilocks Effect’

The New York Times:

Infants are constantly trying to make sense of the world around them, and they do this by seeking out situations that are neither too simple nor too complex.

Writing in the journal PLoS One, a team of researchers from the University of Rochester call it the “Goldilocks effect.”

Babies “are seeking out the type of learning material from the world that’s most efficient for them to learn from,” said the study’s lead author, Celeste Kidd, a cognitive scientist at the university.

Her team measured the attention patterns of 72 infants, ages 7 and 8 months, as they watched video animations while an eye-tracking device below the screen followed their gaze. The babies lost interest when the pattern of objects displayed on the screen became too predictable. And they also lost interest when the sequence became too surprising and random.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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