Touch is one of the first of the 3 senses that develops but there is much less known about how a baby's brains respond to the touch than to how it reacts to the sound of mom's voice or to the sight of mother's face. But now, with the help of safe, new brain imaging techniques, researchers at the University of Washington provides one of the first looks of the infant's brains where the sense of touch is dealt with. This activity has successfully proven that the somatosensory cortex of both the "observed touch" and the "felt touch" shows that 7-month old babies have made a fundamental connection between "self" and "other".
These results have successfully laid the groundwork for imitating and learning from the behaviour of other people around them. These findings were published this week in the Developmental Science by the UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. Babies not only watch but imitate what parents do. Imitation is one of the most powerful techniques for infants. But to imitate, babies need to discern on how body parts correspond. And that happens because even before the babies know the name of their body parts, they know that your hand is like theirs and your foot moves the way theirs will too. This recognition of other people being like them is probably one of the first social insights for the baby.
By: Neha Maheshwari