Friday, September 18, 2009

Newborn perception

I know, I know, about every other blog post from me is from the podcast "Radio Lab", but I just can't resist: one of their latest shows, "After Birth", covers (among other topics) newborn human perception. Most of the podcast is devoted to an interview with Charles Fernyhough, developmental psychologist and author of the very cool-looking book "A Thousand Days of Wonder". Some of the newer research findings blew me away! Examples:
  • The lens in our eyes gradually yellows as we age, so babies probably see much more vivid blues and greens than we do
  • When infants see simple visual stimuli, neurons in their visual cortex fire as expected, but neruons in their auditory cortex ALSO FIRE! They are possibly "hearing" visual images? So we're born with a form of "synaesthesia" but we grow out of it? Wowza!

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