Nothing appears more peaceful than a sleeping baby. But behind that serene little expression, are fantastic dramas unfolding, like theater performances behind closed stage curtains? Or is the stage vacant?According to the psychologist David Foulkes, one of the world's leading experts on pediatric dreaming, people often mistakenly equate their babies' ability to perceive with an ability to dream. "If an organism gives evidence that it can perceive a reality, then we are prone to imagine that it can dream one as well," Foulkes wrote in "Children's Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness" (Harvard University Press, 2002). But considering babies' limited pool of experiences and their brains' immaturity, Foulkes and other neuroscientists think they are actually dreamless for the first few years of life.That's in spite of the fact that, from birth onward, sleeping babies enter the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep phase — the one in which adults dream. And boy, do … [Read more...] about What Do Babies Dream About?
Go to sleep little baby
Amazing baby abilitiesThey may be small and not be able to hold an adult conversation, but babies are proving their collective cleverness. As soon as scientists figured out smarter ways to uncover the wee ones' abilities, they began finding infants' skills are more than they're cracked up to be.Know who's bossFrom as early as 10 months of age, babies figure out that might makes right. When shown scenes of big and small cartoon blocks interacting, infants stare longer (indicating more surprise) when the big one yields the right-of-way to the small one than they do when the small one is subservient. The finding, published in January 2011 in the journal Science, suggest that babies understand social hierarchies and know that size can determine who's in charge.The results suggest that the blueprints of social interaction are built into the human brain."When you're showing these kind of fairly sophisticated or rich concepts are in place before infants get language and before they really … [Read more...] about That’s Incredible! 9 Brainy Baby Abilities
Fascinating Baby BrainsMost of them are bald, fat and speak only nonsense. And we couldn't be more fascinated. What is going on inside the infant noggin? Here are 11 facts about the baby's brain every parent should know.All babies are born too earlyIf it weren't for the size limitations of a woman's pelvis, babies would stay developing in the womb for considerably longer, comparative biologists have suggested."We have to keep our pelvises relatively narrow to keep upright," said Lise Eliot, neuroscientist and author of What's Going on in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life (Bantam, 2000). To fit through mom's, er, escape hatch, the newborn brain is one-quarter the size of an adult's.Accordingly, some pediatricians label a baby's first three months of life as the "fourth trimester" of pregnancy to emphasize how needy, and yet devoid of social skills, babies are at this stage. The first social smile, for example, doesn't usually appear until the infant … [Read more...] about 11 Facts Every Parent Should Know About Their Baby’s Brain
Almost all of us have at some point been told that we were talking in our sleep the night before. It can be a disturbing thing to hear. "Did I say anything embarrassing?" we might wonder, or, "Did I spill the beans?" There's also the possibility that our words revealed some deep subconscious desire of which we are normally unaware. In any case, we are morbidly curious: "What did I say?"Usually, nothing interesting. Studies have found that most sleep speeches are brief, nonsensical utterances lasting just one or two seconds rather than noteworthy ruminations.Sleep talking, also known as somniloquy, may occur during both the REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep phases. When it happens during REM sleep — the stage during which we dream — it's caused by "motor breakthrough" of dream speech: One's mouth and vocal cords, usually inactive when we're sleeping, briefly get switched on, and words spoken by one's character in a dream are spoken out loud. Sleep talking … [Read more...] about Why Do People Talk In Their Sleep?
Toddlers are fiddling more with tablets and smartphones during the day, and it's robbing them of sleep at night, a new study from England suggests.In the study, children ages 6 months to 3 years who spent more time playing with touch-screen devices during the day got less sleep overall and took longer to fall asleep, compared with the youngsters who used touch screens less frequently, the researchers found.The findings also showed that compared with the kids who used touch screens less frequently, the babies and small children who used touch screens more often slept more during the day but less at night, according to the study, published today (April 13) in the journal Scientific Reports. [7 Ways to Short-Circuit Kids' Mobile Addiction]This is the first study to look at the link between toddlers' touch-screen use and sleep, said lead study author Tim Smith, a lecturer in cognitive psychology at Birkbeck, University of London.Although the use of smartphones and tablets is widespread, … [Read more...] about Touch Screens May Be Ruining Toddlers’ Sleep