Narrator: This is Science Today. New psychological
evidence suggests babies and children under the
age of four have brains that are smarter, faster
and busier than any adult's. Alison Gopnik, a psychology
professor at the University of California, Berkeley,
says in comparison, adult brains are less flexible.
Gopnik: We're less good at learning new things
- at considering and entertaining new possibilities.
I think the great advantage that children and babies
have is that they're extremely good doing at this.
They haven't had all this experience and practice
in using information, that they're so much more
open to new possibilities. They are literally more
active and more connected than adult's brains are.
Narrator: Gopnik stops short of supporting
the old theory that a baby's mind is like a sponge.
Gopnik: They're not really like a sponge,
if a sponge means that they're just taking everything
in. On the contrary, part of the reason exactly
why they can learn so much is because they only
pay attention to some things, not others. And they
change what they think about the world bit by bit
- the same way that adult scientists change what
they think about the world bit by bit.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.