1. Water instinct
At birth, the person receives a set of instincts that work well as long as the brain is not developed enough to take over control of survival. One of these instincts is the “diving reflex,” which is also found in seals and other animals living in the water. Here’s how it works: If a baby under the age of six months is dipped in water, it will reflexively hold its breath. At the same time, the frequency of contractions of the heart muscle will slow down, helping to keep oxygen, and blood will begin to circulate mainly among the most vital organs: the heart and brain. This reflex helps babies stay under water for much longer than adults without a serious threat to health.
Children learn at an astounding rate, as each new experience creates strong links between neurons in the brain. By the time the child is 3 years old, the number of these connections will be approximately 1,000 trillion, more than double the number in the adult. From about 11 years old the brain will start to get rid of extra connections, and learning ability will decline.
3. Quantum intuition
Our experience of the perception of the reality is a significant obstacle to understanding the rules of quantum mechanics that govern the behavior of elementary particles. For example, according to quantum mechanics, a particle such as a photon or electron is “neither here nor there”, and is present in both places at the same time and in between. On the scale of a large group of particles, this “fuzziness” disappears and there is a specific location of the object. However, it is easier said than understood: an intuitive understanding of these laws was not given even to Einstein, to say nothing of the average adult.
Infants are not yet accustomed to a particular perception of reality that allows them to intuitively understand quantum mechanics. At the age of 3 months children have no sense of “object permanence,” that is understanding that the object can only be in a certain place at a certain time. Game experiments (for example, the game Peekaboo) show amazing intuitive ability of infants to assume the presence of a subject to any places at the same time.
4. Sense of rhythm
All children are born with an innate sense of rhythm. This was proven in 2009, with the help of the following experiment: 2 and 3-day-old babies listened to the rhythm of a drum with electrodes attached to the head. In cases where the researchers intended to stray from the rhythm, the brain of infants showed a kind of “foreseeability” of the sound that followed. Scientists believe that the sense of rhythm helps children recognize the tone of speech of their parents and thus catch the meaning without understanding the words. Also with the help of his children understand the difference between their native language and any other ones.
5. Being cute
Yes, being cute and thereby inducing positive emotions in adults is also a kind of superpower that only small children have. Scientists believe that without it we would perceive children too pitiful, helpless, stupid and boring to be loved.
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