After Birth - Updated

A few fun things as spelled out by Charles Fernyhough:

* Newborns may hear echoes everywhere. As humans get older, our brains get better at filtering out echoes. But that ability takes time to develop, which leads many scientists to believe babies hear echoes off of everything - even in places we wouldn't normally consider - bedrooms, cars, etc.

* Baby brains are a big cognitive stew. Adult brains are split up. Specific areas govern specific functions. Not so in Baby Huey. Show him a picture, for example, and sparks go off in the region of the brain normally reserved for smell. Yes, this could mean Huey "smells" light and "hears" color, but scholars aren't sure.

* Your baby's brain is at war with itself. As newborns develop, two parts of their brains battle for control -- the subcortical region (the lesser developed, primal area) and the cortical region (which is more highly evolved). "Fixations" develop develop between the two and express themselves as prolonged blank stares or periods of silence.

Then there's this whole thing about crying babies, where NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce tells us how the mother's native tongue may influence the distinctive sound of the newborn's first cries. Pretty amazing stuff.

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