Analyze later behavioral problems at the baby's gaze

Analyze later behavioral problems at the baby's gaze

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Psychology: A look from babies can indicate later behavioral problems

German pediatricians have recently reported on their concern for children with mental health problems. Psychologists have now found that after birth, you can test whether a newborn may later become impulsive, aggressive or hyperactive. The risk is calculated from the baby's perspective.

The world is initially blurry for newborns
Psychologists show that you can test right after birth whether a newborn will later become impulsive, aggressive or hyperactive. As “Welt” reports, they calculate the risk from the child's perspective. Newborns can make outlines and light sources, but it is still difficult for them to distinguish colors. Moving your eyes in sync and fixing something is also not easy for the little ones. Initially, you can only do this at a short distance. The most important thing for the child is to recognize the faces and emotions of certain people. Scientists have long been concerned with how babies learn to control their eyes, how they fix their faces and how long they spend with them.

“Short-lookers” with quicker grasp
Researchers divide babies into so-called "long-lookers" (LL) and "short-lookers" (SL) - in other words, children who fix a new stimulus for a long or a short time. According to “”, studies were able to show that babies who attentively, but only briefly fix a new stimulus, have a quicker grasp. Accordingly, even years later they can control their attention better, control themselves better and have a better memory. Scientists have now investigated whether the gaze behavior of babies is related to their later intelligence quotient. It showed that the IQ of 18-year-olds was higher when they were "short-lookers" in infancy.

Recognize risks from the eyes of babies
Scientists led by Kostas Papageorgiou from London Metropolitan University have investigated whether babies' gaze can also reveal the risk of them later having problems controlling their own behavior - that is, becoming impulsive, aggressive or hyperactive. However, the researchers did not use the pure time that infants turned to a stimulus, but rather recorded it in a value called "fixation duration". This fixation length was examined in a total of 180 one to four day old newborns by showing them faces on a screen. A few years later, the scientists presented the parents of 80 of these babies with several questionnaires asking about the behavior of the meanwhile seven-year-old children.

Asked about later conspicuous behaviors
The researchers were interested in how well the children were able to control their emotions, how impulsive they were, or whether they showed peculiar behaviors, such as hyperactivity, problems with their peers, or attention disorders. In the scientific journal Scientific Reports, psychologists have now reported that newborns who were able to hold their fixation longer were less impulsive, aggressive or hyperactive in primary school than children who had a short fixation length. "We showed for the first time that there is a significant connection between the way babies look at pictures and their later temperament and behavior in childhood, such as hyperactivity," said the authors.

Biological factors cause differences
According to the researchers, the large differences cannot be significantly influenced by the environment, since the babies were examined immediately after birth. Biological factors are more likely to be taken as the reason for the observed differences, such as genetic differences or influences on the baby in the womb. “There are many factors that influence behavioral difficulties in childhood. But our results suggest that some of what affects later behavior is already present at birth, ”said Papageorgiou. "In the future, these observations can help identify children who are at particular risk of attention disorders, such as ADHD, and help develop interventions that improve attention performance."

Genetic predispositions do not necessarily have to come into play
According to development psychologist Birgit Elsner from the University of Potsdam, studies have already shown that "difficult babies" - those who have problems, for example, with developing a rhythm for eating or sleeping, who often cry or are restless - also in children - and adolescents more often show behavioral problems or develop learning difficulties. Although the stability of such differences over several years of life suggests a biological cause, such studies are always only about risk assessments. By no means all babies who look at stimuli for a long time and only achieve short fixation times will show behavioral problems. Numerous studies show that there are different factors that influence the child's development. For example, a recent Brazilian study came to the conclusion that breastfeeding makes you intelligent and wealthy. The researchers blamed long-chain saturated fatty acids, which are important for brain development, for the positive effects of breast milk on intelligence. Later influences, in particular the relationship between the baby and its parents, play an important role, whether or not genetically pre-existing ones actually come into play. (ad)

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Video: 4 Month Old Baby Typical u0026 Atypical Development Side by Side


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