Toby lies in his crib watching his mother, Claudia, as she does housework. He babbles happily and kicks his legs with delight as one piece of clothing after another disappears into the washing machine. "I wonder if he realizes that I am intentionally picking up this T-shirt to put it into the machine?" Claudia asks. "And does he consciously control his movements?"
Parents aren't the only ones who wonder. Researchers have been asking similar questions in studies during the past two decades. In recent years, they have gained some surprising insights into the cognitive development of infants. As it turns out, even the smallest babies know far more than we have traditionally given them credit for.
This article was originally published with the title Test Subjects in Diapers.