Babies crawl away from danger

October 10, 2009


An interesting hypothesis has just come from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Do infants only start to crawl once they are physically able to see danger coming or because they are more mobile, they develop the ability to sense looming danger?

This study suggests that an infants’ ability to see whether an object is approaching on a direct collision course, and when it is likely to collide, develops around the time they become more mobile. So they are not heading for the cookie jar, or mother’s milk, but are establishing the important neural networks that enable them to see objects and how dangerous they might be.

Those neural networks are in the process of being established from birth and by the age of eight to nine months are fully able to register an impending collision. Coincidentally, this is also the average age at which infants start crawling.

Scientists just can’t take anything on trust and go ‘aah’ like the rest of us can they?


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