Up until fairly recently, scientists, writers and philosophers alike have viewed human babies as little more than primitive adults. Through love and attention, babies were to be shaped into autonomous thinkers—like us. It was almost as if their brains were like new computers, whose software we needed to install over time.
But in the past few decades, explains University of California-Berkeley psychologist Alison Gopnik, science has turned this view on its head. Not only are babies’ brains structurally quite different from those of adults, but they also function in a way that makes them better than adults at learning new things. In other words, babies seem to be specially designed for exploration and finding out how things work. They’re little scientists…at least, that is, until those exploratory habits get replaced over time by less flexible thinking styles.
Read the whole story: Mother Jones