About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Newborns Blessed With A Built-In Body Awareness Ability

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on November 22, 2013 at 5:47 PM
 Newborns Blessed With A Built-In Body Awareness Ability

The human ability to make out differences from its own body from others is critical for survival and plays an essential role in interaction with humans and environment. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, on November 21 provide some of the first evidence that newborn babies enter the world with the essential mechanisms for this kind of body awareness already in place.

In addition to this insight into normal human development, the researchers stress the importance of the new findings for understanding atypical development, too.

Advertisement

"The identification of these mechanisms at birth in the current study sheds light on the typical trajectory of body awareness across development," says Maria Laura Filippetti of Birkbeck College, University of London. "Our findings may also be relevant to the investigation of early predictors of developmental disorders in infants, such as autism, where an impairment in the discrimination of self/other is believed to be present."

Earlier studies in adults showed that the integration of information from different senses is key to body awareness. If an individual watches another person's face being touched as his or her own face is touched in the same way, the perception of self actually shifts to partially incorporate that other face. In the new study, Filippetti and colleagues wanted to go back to the very beginning in investigating that phenomenon by studying newborn babies.
Advertisement

Just as in those earlier adult studies, the researchers presented 20 healthy newborns with a video of another baby's face being touched on the cheek with a soft paintbrush while the newborns' corresponding cheeks were stroked either simultaneously or with a time delay. Of course, the babies couldn't explain what they experienced, but they did show greater interest in looking at the other baby's face when it was stroked synchronously with their own. The babies were less interested when the face was presented to them upside down, making it less relatable to themselves.

The researchers interpret their observations as evidence that babies have the essential ingredients for body perception. When what babies see in relation to their own bodies matches what they feel, they notice just as we adults do. In other words, Filippetti says, newborns are "competent creatures," capable of differentiating themselves from others and of forming a coherent perception of their own bodies.

The findings may help in understanding disorders characterized by a lack of self-awareness, and the researchers call for additional research, particularly in the context of autism.

"For years, research on autism has focused on the impairment in social interactions," Filippetti says. "We believe it will be important for further studies to specifically investigate the perception of the self in this population, as well as the relationship of self to other."



Source: Eurekalert
Font : A-A+

Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest Child Health News

Amblyopia or Poor Vision in Kids - Does Digital Vision Training Help?
Children with amblyopia or lazy eye who underwent digital vision training, showed no appreciable improvement in their eyesight.
Childhood Malnutrition Linked to Stunted Growth and Mortality Risk
In 2022, over 20% of children worldwide lacked adequate calories for growth, with 45+ million showing wasting (underweight for height).
Pneumococcal Vaccines Reduce Severe Infections in Kids With Sickle Cell Disease
After PCV7 licensure, pneumococcal infection rates in children aged 5+ with sickle cell disease significantly decreased.
Breast Milk Proteins to Boost Baby's Gut Health
Breast milk concentration of certain key proteins indicates abundance of healthy bacteria in babies' guts.
Urban Life Fuels Risk of  Respiratory Illness in Children
Compared to young children who grow up in rural areas, city kids are more prone to suffer respiratory infections due to environmental factors.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
MediBotMediBot
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot
×

Newborns Blessed With A Built-In Body Awareness Ability Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests