Babies as young as one year old can use logic before they can even speak, new research suggests. The recent study documented the earliest age humans can think logically.
In the study, researchers focused on infants aged 12 to 19 months. The international research team wanted to check if psychologist Jean Piaget’s theory about the age when people acquire the ability to reason was correct. Piaget suggested that humans fully develop logical ability at the age of seven.
Researchers conducted eye scans on 48 infants and found ability to reason in most of them. Babies aged one or older were very skilled at the process of elimination also known as disjunctive syllogism.
The syllogism states that if A and B cannot simultaneously be true, and B is not true, then A must be true. In other words, if a car is either green or yellow, but it is not yellow, then it must be green.
Lead author Nicoló Cesana-Arlotti explained that the latest research was about establishing the earliest foundations of human’s ability to reason logically. The study results were quite surprising.
Researchers allowed babies to watch short animated clips. In those clips, they saw a dinosaur and a flower. Both objects were hidden behind a barrier but when the flower was taken away from behind the barrier, it was logical for the dinosaur to remain hidden, not the flower.
Researchers noticed from the babies’ eye movements that they starred longer at the flower if it would have been logic for the dinosaur to be the one left behind the barrier. A longer stare meant that they were confused.
Scientists often track babies’ eye movements as a hint at what they are thinking since they are unable to talk. The latest findings could be used to diagnose cognitive disabilities in very young children.
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