Babies begin to perceive the world around them by the time they are five months old, new research suggests.
Scientists have long wondered how much young babies know about their surroundings and at what age their developing brains begin to respond to it.
Now, a team of French neuroscientists seem to have an answer. The researchers found that at five months, babies have the internal mechanisms to perceive items in adult-like methods
The team of scientists, led by Dr Sid Kouider of the of École Normale Supérieure in Paris, examined the brain activity of 80 infants aged five, 12 and 15 months old while they were being shown photos of human faces.
The results of the study, which were published in the journal Science, show how all the babies' brains responded to what they were seeing, although the younger children needed slightly longer to register the image.
It is hoped this research will provide a marker for conscious thought. The study could also help experts understand what people who cannot communicate, such as those in a comma, can perceive.
Copyright Press Association 2013