Mar 15, 2019
Young infants use the quality of laughter they hear to help them separate family and friend from stranger danger. A joint study by communication psychologists at New York University and UCLA concludes that babies as young as 5 months of age can detect social relationships by decoding the sounds of laughter.
Using both audio and video experiments, the investigators showed that these infants could distinguish between the laughter of friends and strangers with visual or with only audio cues. The babies definitely preferred listening to the laughter of friends.
When the sounds did not match the video as would be case when the the infants heard friend laughter but saw strangers, the babies acted somewhat puzzled and continued listening to decode the situation.
This research once again shows just how perceptive young infants can be. As parents, we need to be sensitive to their skills and needs by populating their world with consistent happiness and security.
#Laughter #friends #strangers #colaughter #infants
Athena Vouloumanos, Gregory A. Bryant. Five-month-old infants detect affiliation in colaughter. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-38954-4