As any parent knows, babies aren’t born with a fear of heights. In fact, infants can be frighteningly bold around the edge of a bed or a changing table.
But around 9 months, babies become more wary of such drop-offs. New research suggests infants build an avoidance of heights once they get more experience crawling and navigating the world on their own.
In one of their experiments, a group of scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, and Doshisha University in Kyoto studied babies that not yet begun to crawl. Over the course of 15 days, some of the infants were trained to use a motorized baby go-cart that they could control.
“One major benefit of such a delay is that infants are more prone to explore their environment and the movement possibilities afforded by that environment when they are less concerned about the consequences of their actions,” the researchers write in the journal Psychological Science.
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