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B. The Merits Of Baby Talk

Narrator: This is Science Today. If you have a child under the age of four, forget those Mozart tapes and flashcards. Psychologist Alison Gopnik of the University of California, Berkeley says what children at this age really need in the form of mind-expanding education, are the natural, spontaneous things most of us do anyway.

Gopnik: For instance, the way that we talk to babies - that funny, high pitched voice that we use when we talk to babies. It turns out that that actually gives babies just the information they need to figure out how language works. But none of us do it because of that. We just do it because that's what you do when you talk to babies.

Narrator: Gopnik's research found that in terms of teaching babies, the best you could say about artificial interventions like Mozart tapes and better baby bureaus, is that they're useless.

Gopnik: The worst case is that they might actually distract people from doing the things that they might not even think about as educational - like kissing and playing games and talking funny baby talk and playing hide and seek and peek-a-boo and all that stuff. That's where the real education is going on for young babies.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.