How To Predict If Your Baby Will Be A Maths Prodigy
Monitoring a baby's level of spatial awareness in infancy can predict how they will approach math problems in later life.
According to a new study published in Psychological Science, spatial reasoning measured in infancy predicts how children do at math at four years of age.
“We’ve provided the earliest documented evidence for a relationship between spatial reasoning and math ability,” says Emory University psychologist Stella Lourenco, whose lab conducted the research using eye-tracking technology as the babies were shown video streams and asked to rotate or manipulate items in mental space.
“We’ve shown that spatial reasoning beginning early in life, as young as six months of age, predicts both the continuity of this ability and mathematical development.”
“Our results suggest that it’s not just a matter of smarter infants becoming smarter four-year-olds,” Lourenco says. “Instead, we believe that we’ve honed in on something specific about early spatial reasoning and math ability.”
The findings may help explain why some people are naturally brilliant at arithmetic and others avoid it at all costs.
“We know that spatial reasoning is a malleable skill that can be improved with training,” Lourenco says. “One possibility is that more focus should be put on spatial reasoning in early math education.”
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