What Babies' Brains Tell Us about Adult Creativity
Harvard researcher Elizabeth Spelke studies the minds of babies to better understand how we think and behave as adults. She believes language is the key to our creative processes.
What's the Latest Development?
Harvard researcher Elizabeth Spelke studies the minds of babies to better understand how we think and behave as adults. Her work at the Laboratory for Developmental Studies has cemented the concept of the infant gaze as a key to understanding how budding minds develop. By recording how long babies stare at a scene where their expectations have been placed, Spelke can gain insight into how newborns see the world and what their innate preferences are. Before the age of one, babies have a basic Euclidean understanding of space while a grasp of colors develops around age five or six.
What's the Big Idea?
Spelke's most advanced work has focused on how "the core domains of the human mind interact to yield our uniquely restless and creative intelligence." It is also the most controversial side to her research. "Dr. Spelke has proposed that human language is the secret ingredient, the cognitive catalyst that allows our numeric, architectonic and social modules to join forces, swap ideas and take us to far horizons. 'What’s special about language is its productive combinatorial power,' she said. 'We can use it to combine anything with anything.'"
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.