A recent study revealed that babies who stared at seemingly ‘magical’ objects are comparatively more curious. It seems magic toys and tricks may be linked to problem-solving capability. This way of playing at an early stage of life may develop the learning skills later in life.
Some researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted a study where they found that those who intently gaze at such magical illusions are more likely to be trying to figure it out. The curious babies continued to be curious when they get older. It is assumed that this may help those to get improved cognitive abilities at an older age.
The researchers had 65 babies to observe at 11 months old. Then they also observed the same babies at 17 months old. The researchers also followed up on the participants when they turned 3 years old.
The lead author Pérez of the study said, “[The fact that this is] observable even before they learn to walk or speak is pretty surprising and exciting.”
Pérez also said, “Researchers like us have been trying to understand how babies think for many years. And to do this, we often measure how long babies look at different kinds of events.”
She continued, “In general, we know that babies tend to look longer at some things than others — for example, they’ll stare and stare when an object appears to float in mid-air, or magically appear out of nowhere.”
Then she concluded, “But individual babies differ from each other. Some stare really long at these kinds of puzzling events… others take a quick glance and lose interest. Why? We wanted to know whether these differences between babies were meaningful, or just reflected random fluctuations in babies’ moods.”