• Follow us

Science

Deaf Infants Already Process Information Differently - D-brief

baby listening

(Credit: FamVeld/Shutterstock)

Babies, many people agree, are pretty interesting. Not because of their personalities (although, to be sure, some babies are great wits), but because of everything going on in their little baby brains. The complex and intricate processing power of an adult brain is literally taking shape within a newborn’s head, as experiences and sensory input forge new neural connections. And if a baby is missing one of those senses — say, hearing — it’s reasonable to think her brain would look and act a little differently.

But, because infants are such notoriously difficult communicators, it’s hard to know for sure. Lots of studies already show kids of preschool age and older with hearing impairments have different cognitive abilities than hearing children, but it’s not clear when those differences come about. Every parent hears about the importance of the first three years in a baby’s life for cognitive development, so it makes sense to assume the differences begin early — but how early?

A study today in the journal PLOS ONE suggests the answer is quite early indeed. It turns out baby brains as young as 7 months old already process non-auditory information differently from hearing infants.

Creatures of Habituation

The authors gauged the workings of those baby brains indirectly, by taking advantage of a process called habituation. Basically, it’s the fact that you get used to stuff. In the context of babies, if you show them something, they’ll look at it for a while, and then get bored and look away. The idea is that they only get bored once they’ve visually processed the object; as long as they’re still figuring out what they’re looking at, they’ll keep looking.

So, the authors compared how long 23 hearing and 23 deaf babies looked at images on a computer screen as a proxy for visual cognitive development. The infants were 7 to 22 months old, and, as one might expect, there were indeed differences – but maybe not the differences we’d expect.

The common wisdom is that people who can’t hear might compensate with increased visual prowess, but it turned out the deaf babies took about 30 seconds longer to habituate to the images, and they looked away entirely only 40 percent as much.

Understanding Baby Brains

But that doesn’t necessarily mean the common wisdom is wrong, either. The authors suggest the difference might be due to deaf babies paying greater attention to visual objects, for example, processing more information about them than hearing babies. If that’s true, they may not be worse at visual processing at all.

The current study doesn’t have anything to say about that, though. It study simply set out to find whether baby brains were different at that age, and it seems that yes, they do indeed process information differently.

While any insight on how the brain functions and wires itself is great, the real benefit is its potential to better care for deaf babies in the future. As researchers get better at learning about those brain differences, it’ll be easier to learn how to tailor education and communication to deaf babies in general.

Of course, babies will still be babies, and every parent must also know that, deaf or not, there’s almost nothing you can do when your kid simply doesn’t want to listen.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

All DiscoverMagazine.com

The Human Body Might Survive a Mission to 2019-02-20 18:44:30Scientists are still trying to figure out how the human body responds to long-duration spaceflight. It's an important and open research que

This Star Has Exploded Annually For Millions of 2019-02-20 18:17:03Astronomers have discovered a star in the Andromeda galaxy that has been regularly erupting for the past million years, leaving behind one of the bigg

Fruit Fly Study Questions the Assumption that Brains 2019-02-20 16:06:54Without those eight or so hours of precious shut-eye, many of us feel dazed, sluggish and downright useless. Sleep might be thought of as the great eq

Zebra Stripes Protect Against Flies — Now We 2019-02-20 16:00:36Zebras are famous for their contrasting black and white stripes – but until very recently no one really knew why they sport their unusual stripe

Testosterone Helps Protect Embryos From Inflammation, Mouse Study 2019-02-20 13:51:42Testosterone often gets a bad rap as the cause of male aggression, but the hormone actually interacts with our bodies in far more, and more compl

Meet Neptune's New Moon, Hippocamp 2019-02-20 13:00:29Neptune has a new moon, and it's also the gas giant's smallest to date — only a little over 20 miles across. The brand new satellite is c

Ancient Sri Lankans Figured Out How to Sustainably 2019-02-19 17:27:38Some 45,000 years ago, the tropical rainforests of Sri Lanka teemed with dangerous plants and lacked big game, yet people made a life there. Our

The Case for Protecting the Apollo Landing Areas 2019-02-19 17:15:31Why did the hominin cross the plain? We may never know. But anthropologists are pretty sure that a smattering of bare footprints preserved in volcanic

Astronomers Spot a Supermassive Black Hole Bouncing Jets 2019-02-19 17:00:34Supermassive black holes lurk in the hearts of every large galaxy. Some blast out jets that can spill into its host galaxy or even beyond. The energy

Snapshot: Close-up With a Human Teardrop 2019-02-19 16:30:35Tears often leave our faces feeling (and tasting) salty, but a closer look reveals the intricate patterns they can leave behind. Norm Barker, directo

Glued to Their Phones? Study Says Children Still 2019-02-19 15:17:11As technology advances, so do our fears about it. Socrates himself didn’t care for the new advancement of writing. And my parents were alwa

The Fight to Return An Iconic Skull to 2019-02-19 13:24:44The town of Kabwe sits about 70 miles north of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, as the crow flies. Just over 200,000 people live in this major transpor

Breaking Science News |

Cassowary’s Distinctive Helmet Acts as Thermal Radiator 2019-02-19 08:14:27The cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) is a large, flightless bird that bears a prominent helmet (or casque). The function of the cranial structure has a

Smoking More Than 20 Cigarettes a Day Can 2019-02-19 07:11:55Heavy smokers – those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day — have significant changes in the red-green and blue-yellow color visio

Astrophysicists May Have Found Universe’s ‘Missing Mass’ 2019-02-18 10:45:05About a third of the normal matter — meaning hydrogen, helium and other elements — created shortly after the Big Bang is not seen in the p

New Species of Aloe Discovered in Somaliland 2019-02-18 09:01:00A species of aloe believed to be new to science has been found in Somaliland, a self-declared state, internationally considered to be an autonomous re

ALMA Detects Salts around Young Star 2019-02-18 06:24:07Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have detected the chemical fingerprints of sodium chloride (NaCl), potassium

Study: Sleep Improves Ability of Human Immune Cells 2019-02-18 03:25:53A new study published online in the Journal of Experimental Medicine describes how sleep can fight off an infection, whereas other conditions, such as

Astronomers Discover Large Stream of Stars in Solar 2019-02-15 14:01:31Astronomers using ESA’s Gaia satellite have discovered a large stellar stream that is currently traversing the immediate solar neighborhood at a

Nature Favors Production of Asymmetrical Pollen Grains 2019-02-15 11:15:51According to a new study published in the journal Cell, plants favor the production of uneven, asymmetrical patterns on the surface of pollen grains o

New Titanosaurian Dinosaur Unearthed in Tanzania 2019-02-15 08:23:39Paleontologists in Tanzania have found fossil fragments from a new species of giant dinosaur that walked the Earth approximately 100 million years ago

Researchers Identify Gene as Target for Alcoholism Prevention 2019-02-15 07:18:46A team of scientists from the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health and Sciences University has found that a gene called the G-prot

Ultima Thule’s ‘Lobes’ Are Not Spherical, New Horizons 2019-02-14 13:45:26A series of images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft contains important scientific information about the true shape of the Kuiper Belt object

Researchers Discover New Species of Softshell Turtle 2019-02-14 12:18:27A team of scientists from Hungary, Germany and Vietnam has discovered a new, critically endangered species of softshell turtle in north-central Vietna

NYT > Science

ScienceTake: Inside the Spittlebug’s Bubble Home 2019-02-19 07:42:03Those foamy eruptions on garden plants protect a slow and steady sap drinker that is growing into a froghopper. But it has to stick its hind end out t

How the Spittlebug Builds Its Bubbly Fortress 2019-02-19 02:30:04Spittlebugs feed on plant sap and then excrete bubbly foam to create a protective fortress around themselves. Later, they emerge as adult froghoppers.

Becoming Greta: ‘Invisible Girl’ to Global Climate Activist, 2019-02-18 13:39:18A Swedish girl’s solitary act of civil disobedience has turned her into a symbol for climate action. But her path hasn’t been easy.

Bonaire: Where Coral and Cactus Thrive, and the 2019-02-18 13:33:45In a dying reef world, the writer explores the underwater bliss of a little Caribbean island that is showing the world just how to save coral.

For a Black Mathematician, What It’s Like to 2019-02-18 12:52:04Fewer than 1 percent of doctorates in math are awarded to African-Americans. Edray Goins, who earned one of them, found the upper reaches of the math

Saving the Bats, One Cave at a Time 2019-02-18 11:34:21Biologists are searching caves and abandoned mines in the West, hoping to spare many species of the winged creatures from the devastating fungus, whit

Trilobites: What’s Pink and Pinstriped and Digests Wood? 2019-02-18 08:50:07Scientists are eager to learn more about the bacteria that live in this recently discovered clam with an extremely long digestive system.

Embryo ‘Adoption’ Is Growing, but It’s Getting Tangled 2019-02-17 20:54:34Many agencies that offer donated embryos, including most of those supported by federal grants, are affiliated with Christian or anti-abortion rights o

Trilobites: Birds of a Feather May Stick Together, 2019-02-17 17:03:57Researchers say the feathered specimen known as “Ugly Foot” or “Hobbit Foot” offers long-sought clues to the evolutionary path

Smarter Driving: What’s on Your Car? Winter Tires, 2019-02-17 11:59:46All-season tires can indeed be driven all year, but for maximum control and safety, there’s no substitute for tires that provide strong traction

A Mother Learns the Identity of Her Child’s 2019-02-16 05:00:11The results of a consumer genetic test identified the mother of the man whose donated sperm was used to conceive Danielle Teuscher’s daughter. L

Out There: In Science, as in Sports, the 2019-02-15 19:38:25Tomorrow’s Nobel prizes are won today off-season and in the back office.

Latest Headlines | Science

The quest for quasicrystals is a physics adventure 2019-02-19 08:00:06In ‘The Second Kind of Impossible,’ physicist Paul Steinhardt recounts his journey to find quasicrystals in nature.

Tidal floods driven by climate change may hurt 2019-02-19 06:00:05Parking data from Annapolis, Md.’s historic downtown shows how tidal flooding, driven by sea rise, can hurt local business.

Brain cells combine place and taste to make 2019-02-18 13:00:05A select group of brain cells responds to both flavor and location, a specialty that may help an animal find the next good meal.

Tooth plaque shows drinking milk goes back 3,000 2019-02-17 07:00:05The hardened plaque on teeth is helping scientists trace the history of dairying in Mongolia.

Why some Georgia O’Keeffe paintings have ‘art acne’ 2019-02-16 09:00:05Tiny protrusions are from chemical reactions in the paint, say scientists who developed an imaging method that could help curators track the knobs.

LIGO will be getting a quantum upgrade 2019-02-15 14:54:29Quantum squeezing of light will help scientists make better gravitational wave detectors.

STEM professors’ beliefs on intelligence may widen the 2019-02-15 14:00:05Seeing intelligence as fixed can result in lower grades, especially for certain minorities

Muons reveal the whopping voltages inside a thunderstorm 2019-02-15 07:00:05Particle physics sheds new light on the electric potential of thunderstorms.

A new insulation material is practically weightless yet 2019-02-14 14:00:05Extreme heat and temperature swings are no match for this lightweight insulator.

Climate change could increase foodborne illness by energizing 2019-02-14 09:00:04Warmer, more lively house flies could spread more Campylobacter bacteria by landing on more food.

50 years ago, DDT pushed peregrine falcons to 2019-02-14 07:00:05In 1969, peregrine falcons were at risk of extinction. But a ban on the pesticide DDT and new captive breeding programs allowed the raptors to recover

Slow sperm may fail at crashing ‘gates’ on 2019-02-13 14:49:00A new study describes how sperm navigate narrow straits in the reproductive tract’s obstacle course to reach an egg.

Latest Science News --

New insight on potent HIV antibody could improve 2019-02-20 17:41:31A new observation highlights the importance of previously unstudied mutations that arises early in bnAbs, giving the antibodies the flexibility to ada

Native California medicinal plant may hold promise for 2019-02-20 17:41:05The medicinal powers of aspirin, digitalis, and the anti-malarial artemisinin all come from plants. A discovery of a potent neuroprotective and anti-i

The medium shapes the message: New communication technologies 2019-02-20 14:50:35The introduction of communication technologies appears to bias historical records in the direction of the content best suited for each technology, acc

Zebra stripes are not good landing strips 2019-02-20 14:50:32The stripes of a zebra deter horse flies from landing on them, according to a new study.

Complex structures' organization studied in slime mold 2019-02-20 14:50:30Researchers in Japan think they have found an answer to the fundamental biological question of how individual cells know which way to position themsel

Peer support, healing hands may curb prescription opioid 2019-02-20 13:36:29A program offering group support, acupuncture, mindfulness, massage and gentle exercise may help prevent patients on prescription opioids from spirali

Establishing the molecular blueprint of early embryo development 2019-02-20 13:36:23A team of biologists, physicists and mathematical modellers have studied the genetic activity of over 100,000 embryonic cells to establish the molecul

Correlated nucleons may solve 35-year-old mystery 2019-02-20 13:36:21A careful re-analysis of data taken as revealed a possible link between correlated protons and neutrons in the nucleus and a 35-year-old mystery. The

Massive database traces mammal organ development, cell by 2019-02-20 13:36:13A new study has traced an important period of organ formation, cell by cell, in the developing mouse. The study is by far the largest dataset of its k

Scientists identify genetic mechanism involved in how females 2019-02-20 13:36:10Female cells randomly and permanently shut off one of the X chromosomes during embryonic development through a process called X chromosome inactivatio

Researchers discover a flipping crab feeding on methane 2019-02-20 13:35:39Researchers have documented a group of tanner crabs vigorously feeding at a methane seep on the seafloor off British Columbia -- one of the first time

Thermally-painted metasurfaces yield perfect light absorbers for high-tech 2019-02-20 13:35:37Researchers report their insights into how colors are generated on heated metal surfaces and apply those findings to create a nickel thin-film that pe

Science - The Huffington

'Rarest Penguin On Earth' Caught On Camera In 2019-02-19 03:14:14It may be the only one of its kind on the planet.

I Fight Anti-GMO Fears In Africa To Combat 2019-02-14 12:00:31The anti-GMO news and campaign across the globe make me wonder whether improved crop varieties would ever reach small stakeholder farmers like my moth

NASA's Opportunity Rover Is Dead After 15 Year 2019-02-13 19:28:12“Humanity’s greatest explorers aren’t always human,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said of the trailblazing robot.

Science Marks Its Return To The House Science 2019-02-13 17:32:13The panel’s longtime chair, Rep. Lamar Smith, had repeatedly attacked scientists and pushed climate misinformation. Those days are over.

A Harvard Geneticist Wants To Sell A Magical 2019-02-13 14:34:43David Sinclair stirred up controversy before when he promoted — and got $8 million — off a “miraculous molecule.”

Pioneering Black Scientist Wins ‘Nobel Prize For The 2019-02-12 12:48:36Warren Washington wins the award for climate science. His freshman college advisor told him to avoid physics because it was “probably too hard&r

Tom Suozzi, Moderate Democrat On Powerful Economic Committee, 2019-02-11 11:20:59Nearly 70 House Democrats now back the resolution.

Insects Are Dying En Masse, Risking 'Catastrophic' Collapse 2019-02-11 09:22:28The insect apocalypse is indeed upon us, according to the first global scientific review of insect population decline.

House Climate Panel Democrats Got Nearly $200,000 In 2019-02-07 13:38:57House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named nine Democrats to the new committee on Thursday.

This Is Hands-Down The Most Horrifying Pizza Video 2019-02-07 05:15:04What happens to this pizza is terrible. You have been warned.

The Republican Assault On The Green New Deal 2019-02-06 16:59:50Polls show the Green New Deal appeals to voters from both parties. The GOP apparently hasn't heard.

2018 Fourth Hottest Year On Record, Says NASA 2019-02-06 11:36:19The latest annual global temperature analysis show climate change is getting worse.

EurekAlert! - Breaking News

New compound could help treat ovarian cancer 2019-02-20 00:00:00Scientists from the University of Sheffield have discovered a compound that could be more effective in treating certain cancers than standard chemothe

New method identifies which asthma patients respond to 2019-02-20 00:00:00Physicians will be able to predict which of their patients with severe asthma are likely to benefit from treatment with systemic corticosteroids -- an

Interacting with more people is shown to keep 2019-02-20 00:00:00Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that older adults who spend more time interacting with a wide range of people were more li

Computer simulators show how to reduce damage to 2019-02-20 00:00:00Changing the ventilation settings for children on life support can reduce the risk of damage to their lungs, researchers at the University of Warwick

Powering a pacemaker with a patient's heartbeat 2019-02-20 00:00:00Implantable pacemakers have without doubt altered modern medicine, saving countless lives by regulating heart rhythm. But they have one serious shortc

Ingredients for water could be made on surface 2019-02-20 00:00:00When a stream of charged particles known as the solar wind careens onto the moon's surface at 450 kilometers per second (or nearly 1 million miles pe

Activating tooth regeneration in mice 2019-02-20 00:00:00Most reptiles and fish have multiple sets of teeth during their lifetime. However, most mammals, such as humans, have only one set of replacement teet

Fossil fuel combustion is the main contributor to 2019-02-20 00:00:00Fossil fuel combustion is the main contributor to black carbon collected at five sites around the Arctic, which has implications for global warming, a

Simulated ocean mesoscale structures induce air-sea interaction 2019-02-20 00:00:00Using the Community Earth System Model framework, the authors build a very high-resolution quasi-global coupled model by coupling an eddy-resolving qu

Nitisinone increases melanin in people with albinism 2019-02-20 00:00:00A small pilot clinical study at the National Eye Institute (NEI) suggests that the drug nitisinone increases melanin production in some people with oc

As genetic data expand, researchers urge caution in 2019-02-20 00:00:00In a review published online today in AERA Open, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, researchers from Stanford U

Mandarin Chinese could help us understand how infants 2019-02-20 00:00:00Infants may be more sensitive to non-native speech sounds than previously thought, according to a study published in the Journal of Memory and Languag


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.