LiveScience reports that while babies may not be able to talk at six months, according to a new study, they can understand dogs’ barks. When a dog barks, according to the study published in the journal Developmental Psychology, babies seem to be able to interpret the doggy emotions behind the bark.
Researchers looked at the behavior of infants when viewing photographs of two dogs, a friendly looking dog and an aggressive looking dog. The babies did not have a preference for one photo over the other at first.
But, when they included the barking sounds, the babies were able to match which bark went to which photo. The researchers found that the babies would glance at the photo of the corresponding dog’s bark when a sound clip of the bark was played. If the baby heard a friendly bark, she would glance at the friendly dog’s picture or if she heard an aggressive bark, she would glance at the aggressive dog’s picture.
What this study tells researchers is that babies may be able to interpret emotions very early in their development. Ross Flom, lead researcher in this study and psychology professor at Brigham Young University, explained “"Emotion is one of the first things babies pick up on in their social world."
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