From The Telegraph:
Welcome to Spelkeland, or, to give it its proper name, the Laboratory for Developmental Studies at Harvard University’s Department of Psychology, run by the cognitive psychologist Prof Elizabeth Spelke, which is dedicated to understanding what shapes the most powerful known learning machine – the infant mind. Great philosophers have mused for millennia about human consciousness and how it makes sense of its surroundings. Like any good scientist, Spelke has turned philosophical hot air into firm experimental data that suggests that we are born with a significant amount of ‘core knowledge’ hardwired into our brains.
Spelke is arguably the most influential figure in the relatively new field of baby brain research, and has been named by Time magazine as one of America’s best in a list of ‘brilliant researchers who are the envy of the world’. One prominent British experimental psychologist, Prof Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol, says she has ‘revolutionised infancy mind research’. The psychologist and writer Steven Pinker, Spelke’s colleague at Harvard, is another who acknowledges her profound impact, and says her ingenuity has shown that ‘babies are smarter than we thought’.