I love art, I love babies and I love the Burning Man festival that takes place every summer in the Nevada desert. So I was sorry I wasn’t there this year to see this sculpture:
There isn’t much laughter in this video of 2 year old Prince getting his first ever haircut. But it is absolutely lovely. So I am sharing it anyway 🙂
Thanks to Prince and his dad KJ.
The most popular post on this blog is the one that asks ‘Should we tickle babies?‘ A lot of adults don’t like being tickled and babies can’t easily defend themselves. Perhaps we shouldn’t do it. Well, as this video of 9 month old baby Jaxton shows very clearly, babies really do enjoy being tickled. But they will also let you know once it gets a bit too much for them.
Thank you to Stacie, Jaxton and the rest of their family for sharing their video.
Fans of baby science and laughing babies should subscribe to the RealScientists twitter account. Every week a different scientist takes over to explain their work and show you what it is actually like behind the scenes. This week it’s my turn.
I specialise in the study of learning in the first few years of life and have researched such topics as how we learn our first words, our first abstract concepts and how our sense of time develops. I run behavioural studies with infants and sometimes with adults. I also builds neural network models to explain *how* we learn these new skills. My most popular research has involved investigating the role of laughter in early life. I run a website for this, the Baby Laughter Project (http://babylaughter.net). which conducted a global survey of thousands of parents asking what makes their babies laugh. Parents also send in their videos which are used to illustrate aspects of why laughter is much more important than it first appears.
I don’t know who Tom Fletcher is but he has blue hair and makes babies laugh so what’s not to love?
The surprisingly serious science of laughing babies
Caspar Addyman, Birkbeck Babylab
The laughter of little babies is infectious, enchanting and may play an important role in their early development. Yet it was largely overlooked by science. Caspar conducted a large global survey of new parents to discover what makes their babies laugh (http://babylaughter.net). In this talk Caspar presents the results of his research and shows how it reveals a serious and important purpose to this delightful behaviour.
There were lots of other great talks in Birkbeck Science week. You can find links to them here. I particularly recommend Katarina Begus’ talk about the importance of curiosity to babies