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Babies Focus of Brain Research

Researchers at the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology are trying to understand the underlying processes that control neurological development by studying infants.

The tests are performed using electroencephalography (EEG), which is a recording system that uses voltage fluctuations along the scalp to record the brain’s spontaneous electrical activity. Researchers are able to record activity in the brain while the infant is shown visual stimulus on a screen. The tests have been conducted over the past 10 years.

Studies have shown that development of the senses, motor skills and the brain go hand-in-hand. Babies gradually become better at perceiving and interpreting visual stimulus throughout their first year of life. This knowledge can help scientist figure out what happens to brain development in infants who are born prematurely.

Now researchers have also been able to conclude that electrical activity in the brain changes as the baby grows and becomes more mobile throughout the first year of life. When a child is one year old and has learned to crawl and maybe even walk, he or she also is able to differentiate between different types of movement on a screen. The one-year-olds also react more quickly to new information than the younger children, and are able to use more specialized areas of the brain.

Source: Norwegian University of Science and Technology