Research on the benefits of touch for babies has shown its importance for premature infants and, more generally, for the early social and cognitive development. More recently, studies have found that touch seems to be very important in the way we come to understand that our body has boundaries and is different from other people’s bodies. The development of this function has been studied in babies and adults but there has not been much research on the brain basis of self-perception.
In adults it has been demonstrated that a specific part of the brain is involved in this function but there have been only few studies with babies demonstrating the same. The aim of this study is to investigate the brain basis of self-awareness in infancy.
By using techniques such as fNIRS and eye tracker while babies are watching videos or performing little actions, we can better understand infants’ behaviour and brain development and compare it with what has been found in adults.
This study will help us to learn more about the development of self-understanding in the first year of life, and how the brain specialises during development.