Baby Eyes


How much can YOU remember from your baby days?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. 

Babies watch constantly, taking in everything they’re exposed to. When you get home from work, your baby greets you with a big smile! But do they remember any of that?

Kahl Hellmer and his team from Uppsala University in Sweden wondered. They compared seven-month-old infants to adults in their late twenties. All the participants saw pictures of toys and office and house supplies.  They saw both new and old pictures twice. 

While they looked at the pictures, the researchers measured their eye pupils to test their memory. Clear, detailed memories yield larger pupils. Less detailed memories, smaller pupils.

Did everyone remember which pictures they’d seen? It depends! Adults’ pupils grew larger after seeing old pictures ONCE, indicating they formed memories sooner. However, babies’ pupils only grew larger after seeing old pictures TWICE. It might take infants longer, but they may be building their memories! 

Teenagers, though? Different story. They never remember ANYTHING you tell them…! Like, take out the garbage!