Scientists used to think babies start grasping the meaning of the words used around them when they are about one year old. However, a new research points out the fact that they might start understanding what we say to them as early as at six months. They can only grasp basic words, but it’s always a good time to start talking to them as much as possible.
Babies can grasp the meaning of easy words
Researchers decided to test how good babies are at understanding words even before the age of one. Therefore, they presented them with a series of images, while the caretaker spoke about what they saw. Then, they studied the movement of their eyes to see if they make any correlation between images and spoken words.
Professor Elika Bergelson, who developed the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also had a previous study which proved that babies with ages between six and nine months could grasp easy concepts, such as body parts or foods. Now, this new study revealed they could actually understand more words.
They start learning words before turning one
For the first study, whenever the caretaker uttered a simple word, their gaze directed itself towards the relevant image. Now, the babies were presented two different images, which were either related or not. Whenever the caretaker spoke, they spent more time analyzing the image with the unrelated objects. This means they could tell there was a difference between them.
This doesn’t mean that babies can grasp the meaning of words just like adults do. However, they still possess a basic understanding of easy concepts, and can tell when two words are related. The discovery is an important one, as it reveals how children start learning words and meanings earlier than it was assumed.
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