Under the Microscope: November 24, 2011

Nov 24, 2011

An accent ‘test-drive’ of the iPhone’s new digital assistant. Plus: at what age do babies start engaging in mind-reading? One MU researcher thinks she’s got it figured out.

Apple recently released Siri, a digital assistant for its new iPhone 4S. In theory, you can use Siri to send emails, look up trivia, or make appointments on your calendar. But how well does Siri work when your accent is a little more unusual? KBIA’s Amrita Jayakumar has this story.

For years, psychologists have been trying to figure out just what infants understand about the world around them. A topic of recurring debate is whether or not infants understand something called the theory of mind – the idea that every person has their own viewpoint and consciousness.  Yuyan Luo is a researcher at the University of Missouri’s Infant Cognition Lab. She recently published a study suggesting that infants as young as ten months old had an understanding of the theory of mind. She joined us in the studio to talk about her research. Click on the second audio file above to listen to the extended version of the interview with Luo.