Newborns can also daydream
London: Babies come into the world with brains capable of daydreaming and introspection.
Researchers made the discovery after scanning the brains of 70 babies.
It had been thought that `resting state networks`, which help us formulate daydreams, only develop properly in the first few years of life.
Instead, these brain connections were fully formed by the end of a normal pregnancy, according to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This could mean that babies are cleverer than we thought. Or that the scientists who first linked that brain area with daydreaming got it wrong, the Daily Mail reported.
David Edwards from Imperial College London who led the study said: "Some researchers have said that the default mode network is responsible for introspection - retrieving autobiographical memories and envisioning the future, etc."
"Our study shows that babies` brains are more fully formed than we thought. More generally, we sometimes expect to be able to explain the activity we can see on brain scans in terms of someone thinking or doing some task," he said.
"However, most of the brain is probably engaged in activities of which we are completely unaware, and it is this complex background activity that we are detecting," Edwards said.
The researchers found that the resting state networks mainly develop after 30 weeks - in the third trimester - and are largely complete by the time most babies are born.
First Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 00:00
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