Psychological Development Across the Lifespan


What evidence is there of infants’ capacity to remember?

There is a good deal of evidence supporting newborns’ ability to learn. Babies recognize their mother’s voice immediately after birth and within several days can recognize the smell of their mother’s breast milk. Within the first day of life infants can be trained to suck longer on a nipple to hear a woman’s voice rather than a man’s voice. Babies also look longer at novel images and turn away sooner from images that they have already seen multiple times. Eight-day-old babies also respond differently to their mother if she wears a mask, looking at her more frequently during feeding as if recognizing something is not right. Thus, infants are born with the capacity to store sensory information in memory and to make distinctions that are critical for their survival.


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