What babies see

2 weeksHave you ever wondered what the world looks like to an infant, or even to a 6-month old?

An ophthalmologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and a bunch of scientists and engineers at REBIScan have developed an app called BabySee that lets you see the world through the eyes of a baby, aged from a few days to a year. Simply point your camera at something, and use the slider to choose the age of the baby (increments of one week for the first three months, then of one month until one year of age).

2 weeks 5 months 9 months

The free iPhone/iPad app draws on years of research and studies trying to understand how babies see in terms of color, contrast, resolution. With the app comes a short summary of how vision can be tested in an infant, what is currently known on the subject, and links to research articles, websites and books if you feel like digging further. There is also a list of things (regarding vision) a pediatrician may test in infants and young children, based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Of course it’s not possible to enter a baby’s mind, so the simulator is just what it is: a “best guess” simulator, mainly built for entertainment purposes. As the creators of the app themselves note, while the simulator gives an idea of the quality of the picture obtained through a baby’s eyes, it does not simulate how that picture is actually processed by the infant’s brain, nor the perception of the world that is derived from it.

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