Newborn Babies can Differentiate Their Bodies from Others

By  , Agency News
Nov 23, 2013

New born babies are innocent but they are not dumb. They have the ability to differentiate their own body from that of others.

body awarenessScientists have found that humans are fundamentally and critically skilled to interact with their environments. This is why they are able to distinguish their own bodies from that of people around them. This ability seems to be innate, showing signs in the newborns.

"The identification of these mechanisms at birth in the current study sheds light on the typical trajectory of body awareness across development," said Maria Laura Filippetti of Birkbeck College, University of London.

"Our findings may also be relevant to the investigation of early predictors of developmental disorders in infants, such as autism, where impairment in the discrimination of self/other is believed to be present," Filippetti said.

The study has provided some of the first evidence that the essential mechanisms for body awareness is already in place when newborns enter this world. According to previous studies, adults showed that the integration of information from different senses is the key to body awareness.

When what babies see in relation to their own bodies matches what they feel, they notice just as adults do.

In other words, Filippetti said, newborns are "competent creatures," capable of differentiating themselves from others and of forming a coherent perception of their own bodies.

The study is published in the journal Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.


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