Ten-month-old babies begin to understand another person's thought process, providing new insights on how humans acquire knowledge and how communication develops, new research says.
"Infants, even before they can verbally communicate, can understand the thought processes of other people," said Yuyan Luo, associate professor of developmental psychology, Missouri University, who led the study.
Infants were monitored during different trials of a common psychological test in which an actor indicated preference for certain objects.
Researchers timed the infant's gaze, which is an indication of his or her knowledge, the journal Cognition reports.
The infants watched longer when the actor's preferences changed. This led the researchers to believe that infants understood how the actor interacted with the objects, according to a statement from the university.
"When the actor did not witness the removal or addition of the preferred object, the infants seemed to use that information to interpret the person's actions," Luo said.
Luo said her study is one of the firsts to explore the false belief understanding in the first year of life; evidence from other studies indicates that infant understanding could be present at an earlier age.