Touch is foundational to infant development

See an adorable baby and it can be hard to resist reaching out for a cuddle.

The sense of touch is the earliest form of communication between babies and their caregivers. It’s one way we say “I love you” long before infants understand language.

Now scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) and Temple University are collaborating to explore the neuroscience that underlies the power of touch in infants’ lives. Although much is known about how the baby’s brain processes auditory and visual experiences, few studies have explored the baby’s sense of touch.

“This study provides a foundation for examining how body maps develop and the ways in which they are shaped by experiences,” said Marshall, who is a visiting scholar at I-LABS. “Touch is foundational to infant development, and we need to know more about how it is processed in the brain.”

Read more about the study here