Thursday 27 October 2016

Here's looking at you kid - Researchers crack why babies smile

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 09/10/2015 | 13:36

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An age old mystery has been solved.

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Research has explained why babies smile repeatedly at their adoring mothers.

The study published in American scientific journal 'Plos One' indicates that babies who flash a smile are doing so to get one back.

"I used to wonder if my daughter was trying to communicate with me when she was an infant and smiled," the lead researcher said.

"It might not have just been wishful thinking on my part.

"Babies are very goal-oriented."

The feedback showed that by the time infants reach the four-month mark both they and their mothers smile at each other in a purposeful manner.

In order to reach accurate conclusions scientists primarily examined a previous study that scrutinised face-to-face interactions between 13 mothers and their babies.

Incredibly, they found that Infants used "maximally efficient … wait times" between their adorable smiles, because they understand if they stop smiling entirely, their mother is likely to also cease grinning.

Researchers then equipped a robot with a toddler-like face and programmed it to behave in the same fashion as the babies in the study.

The result proved to be just as expected - The robot minimised its own smiles all while maximising the smiles it received in return.

How adorable!

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