Melbourne, Nov 30 : It's not just adults who have a thing or two to discuss with other people, babies too have their own social lives and enjoy group interaction, according to a world-first study.
The breakthrough study conducted by psychologist Professor Ben Bradley, at Charles Sturt University, could completely transform the way child-care centres are set up.
In their study, the researchers examined groups of nine-month-old babies in New South Wales and Britain.
And they came across astounding results-it was found that infants had "social brains'' and focused not just on their mothers but on social life in groups as well.
"They communicate with more than one baby at once, show jealousy and generous inclusiveness,'' The Daily Telegraph quoted Professor Bradley as saying.
He added: "They develop their own meanings through group interaction, they notice if a group member is behaving differently and they take on roles, such as leader and follower.
"A baby who has a depressed mother tends to be withdrawn, but put that same baby in a group with its peers and they behave and interact like any other baby.''
It was the first all-baby group study ever to be conducted.
Phoebe Christison, a child-care worker at Camperdown Sunshine Bubs in Sydney's inner west, said she often noticed what appeared to be emotional attachments develop between toddlers.
She said; "Joel (10 months) and Isabella (11 months) always like to hold hands when they sit in their high chairs and eat. And (toddlers) definitely show jealousy. They push and touch each other, copy what the other is doing.''