“Can a baby decode the pattern of light and dark on a two-dimensional object as a symbol of Grandma’s face, and perceive that the noise they hear is generated by Grandma talking to them?”Back at Georgetown, Mc Clure and her team conducted a survey across Washington, D.
“Babies are very sensitive to eye contact, physical contact, pointing at things, and all of those can be compromised,” Mc Clure said.
For example, babies watching television or movies tend to be confused when broadcast sound is even slightly out of sync.
Of course, babies being babies, it’s hard to know what they’re thinking just by watching how they act.
“Just because they stare at a screen doesn’t mean they are interpreting it, decoding it, understanding it,” Rich said.
While interfaces like Skype, Face Time, and Google Hangout are still relatively new, this area of research builds on decades of experiments involving children and electronic screens.