Babies’ Memories

happy baby memoriesResearch has studied infants’ memory capabilities and other research has studied infants’ ability to discriminate between different emotions, but a study done by BYU combined both ideas to see what effect different emotions had on infants’ memory. The study found that “babies are more likely to remember something if there is a positive emotion, or affect, that accompanies it.”

The experiment consisted of researchers showing infants a shape that was introduced by a happy, neutral, or angry voice. The researchers tested the infants’ memory 5 minutes later and one day later. They tested their memories by showing them the same shape and a new shape side-by-side and measured how long they looked at each shape. They found that infants’ memories didn’t improve when a negative voice was paired with the shape, but were much better at remembering when a positive voice was used.

The researchers believe that this occurs because using a positive voice “heightens the babies’ attentional system and arousal. By heightening those systems, we heighten their ability to process and perhaps remember this geometric pattern.”

So to help your infants’ learn more, make sure to keep their environment and your interactions with them happy and positive.

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