Yes, you are not the only one to wonder what makes your baby special. We have all heard that babies go through many developmental stages in the first few years of life and can literally learn anything at any age. Going on what previous research has shown, we can see that the patterns in a baby’s brain is one of the key factors to predict future abilities.
No, it’s not like judging your baby’s future by looking at the size of their toes! Neuroscientists have found that the brain’s electrical signals, called EEGs, can be used to do the job.
According to Birkbeck’s research, measuring babies’ brain activity could help us predict cognitive development from toddlerhood to childhood. Maybe, this would allow for earlier intervention, leading to better long-term outcomes.
The findings are part of two large longitudinal studies led by Professor Emily Jones of the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, in collaboration with an international team of collaborators from King’s College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Gothenburg, Duke University, and the University of Washington.
The longitudinal studies follow both typically developing infants and infants with autistic older siblings, who are more likely to have a range of social and cognitive outcomes. The researchers combined data from these cohorts to see if brain activity at 12 months of age is related to cognitive skills later in childhood.
Electroencephalography (EEG), a non-invasive method that measures the oscillatory states involved in memory and learning, was used to measure brain activity after 12 months. Researchers recorded dynamic changes in brain activity while participants watched a series of videos designed to engage the learning, memory, and attention systems. Standardized assessments were used to assess cognitive ability at 1, 2, 3, and 7 years.
The researchers discovered that EEG activity at 12 months predicted childhood verbal and nonverbal cognitive skills in all cohorts. Brain activity explained more than 80% of the variance in an infant’s nonverbal skills at three years old in a small group of 12-month-olds who later developed ASD.
However, this is not the only “way” around, to measure a baby’s “future ability”. According to one research, fussy babies are likely to end up with higher IQs than others.
Another study found that babies and children who are smarter or more gifted require fewer hours of sleep than other children. Professor Peter Fleming of the University of Bristol, an expert in infant development and health, revealed that babies who wake up are thought to have higher levels of intelligence and good mental health.
You should obviously pay some attention to scientific researches. Parenting is a complex job and combined with brain-related ideas from babies, we are always in a learning process.
In order to sharpen your baby’s brain, encourage consistency, play games with him/her, and focus on foods that can boost his/her brain development. Make sure to turn off unnecessary distractions like electronic devices too often, and focus on your baby.