Study: Babies Don't Imitate Adults, It Was The Other Way Around

By Catherine Armecin, Parent Herald May 07, 04:01 am

Babies are very adorable that adults can't help but play with them and the experience makes one feel good. Have you ever played with a baby and think that the little one follows your reaction? According to a new study, babies don't imitate adults, but it was the other way around.

Adults Imitate Babies

According to a new study published in Current Biology, newborn babies do not imitate the adults, but adults imitate the little ones. Per ABC several sites and books for new mothers reveal that babies are born imitators and the recent study supported this claim.

"When we interact with babies ... we want to bring them into our world," said senior author Professor Virginia Slaughter, developmental psychologist at the University of Queensland. "We imitate them, and when we imitate them, this stimulates them to behave"

Per Slaughter when adults continue to imitate a baby's reaction it results in a reciprocal interaction that appears imitation. However, the said reaction is driven by parents or adult's behavior rather than the baby copying it.

Study Tests Infant's Response To Adult's Gestures

The recent study involved 106 infants. They were exposed to 11 different gestures like tongue poking, mouth opening, finger pointing, different facial expressions and sounds like "mmm" and "eee" for one minute.

Slaughter revealed that they found no evidence showing the babies imitating any of the gestures. The most common reaction for newborn babies was tongue poking. They responded in this manner to happy and sad faces and tongue poking itself.

Slaughter notes that older infants could imitate adults but notes that babies learned this skill. "I think it's magical and wonderful that from the time babies are born they are interested in other people, and they are ready to learn about how they relate to others around them - in part, by learning to imitate," Slaughter said.

Do you believe that babies imitate adults' reaction? Were you surprised that it was the other way around? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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