Adult and baby brains share same wavelength during play, study finds

Washington D.C [India], Jan 10 (ANI): A new research study suggests that adult brains are likely to be on the same wavelength, experiencing similar brain activity in the same brain regions as of the babies while playing with them.

Princeton research team who conducted a study on the brain activities of baby and adult found some measurable similarities while they interact during natural play.

The research has come up with the discovery that both the adult and the baby's brain activities might quite be literally on the same wavelength.

During their play, as they shared toys and eye contacts, the brain activity rose and fell together.

The research was conducted at the Princeton Baby Lab, where University researchers study how babies learn to see, talk and understand the world.

An associate researcher Elise Piazza said: "Previous research has shown that adults' brains sync up when they watch movies and listen to stories, but little is known about how this 'neural synchrony' develops in the first years of life."

The research team has emphasised that the neural synchrony has important implications for language learning and for social development.

The researchers used a child-friendly method to record the brain-activity simultaneously from baby and adult brains while real-time communication.

The team came up with a new dual-brain neuroimaging system that uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS).

The system is considered highly safe and records oxygenation in the blood as a proxy for neural activity and allowed researchers to record the neural coordination between babies and an adult while they played with toys, sang songs and read a book.

The data collected after the experiment showed that during the face-to-face sessions, the babies' brains were synchronized with the adult's brain in several areas known to be involved in the high-level understanding of the world -- perhaps helping the children decode the overall meaning of a story or analyze the motives of the adult reading to them.

When the adult and infant were turned away from each other and engaging with other people, the coupling between them disappeared.

The researchers were also surpirsed as the strongest coupling occurred in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in learning, planning, and executive functioning and was previously thought to be quite underdeveloped during infancy.

"We were also surprised to find that the infant's brain was often 'leading' the adult brain by a few seconds, suggesting that babies do not just passively receive input but may guide adults toward the next thing they're going to focus on: which toy to pick up, which words to say," said Lew-Williams, who is a co-director of the Princeton Baby Lab.

How neural coupling relates to preschool's early language learning is still underway for the researchers to cover. (ANI)