Brain wave study: Babies lead adults in sync when playing

Playing with babies is not only adorable, but it also causes the brain waves of adults and babies to sync together. This may lead to both babies and adults being able to predict the next action of each other and become more playfully engaging.

A new study conducted by researchers at the Princeton Baby Lab in the US was able to show the adults and babies brain waves syncing. The study involved observation of 18 babies, all aged between 10 and 15 months. The study focused on the changes taking place between the two groups as they played with each other.

Syncing of brain waves

Cognitive psychologist Elise Piazza, regarding this study, said,

Previous research has shown that adults’ brains sync up when they watch movies and listen to stories, but little is known about how this ‘neural synchrony’ develops in the first years of life.

The study shows how the action of an adult can influence the actions taken by a baby or vice versa. The study also showed how the action of another person could affect how we process information.

Babies predict better what the adults are about to do

The brain wave study also found that the baby brains were leading the adult brains by a few seconds. This meant that babies were better readers and were able to predict better what the adults were about to do. This is according to psychologist Casey Lew-Williams.

Casey said,

We were also surprised to find that the infant brain was often ‘leading’ the adult brain by a few seconds, suggesting that babies do not just passively receive input but may guide adults toward the next thing they’re going to focus on: which toy to pick up, which words to say,

The research which was published in Psychological Science demonstrated the workings of the brain of babies during interactions. It also demonstrated why the interactions between babies and adults are so effective.


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