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Netflix ‘Babies’ series features psychology professor Susan Hespos

Docu-series explores the epic journey that babies make from infancy to toddlerhood

Susan Hespos, professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is one of 36 world-renowned scientists featured in the Netflix docu-series “Babies,” a scientific investigation covering the epic journey that babies make from infancy to toddlerhood. The series examines how infants remember objects, learn new words, understand numbers and more.

Hespos and her Infant Cognition Laboratory are featured in the episode, “What Babies Know,” which, along with five additional episodes, aired June 19, exploring core knowledge, including gravity, object permanence and abstract thought.

“I hope viewers come to appreciate the importance of studying early human development and will participate in research at their local universities,” Hespos said.

Last fall, the docu-series’ production company filmed in Hespos’ lab on the Evanston campus.

The first batch of episodes, which looked at major milestones from bonding to first steps and first words, is still available on Netflix and originally premiered February 21, where it remained on the Top 10 Netflix list for several weeks. The second batch of episodes explores what’s going on in the mind of babies and how they make sense of the world, essentially what it is that makes us human.

The show was filmed over three years and follows 15 babies from around the world in their early years. A team of scientists from across the globe, including the U.S., France, Israel, Singapore, Canada, Scandinavia and the UK, was involved in the series and look into how babies develop and how they interact with the world and, ultimately, gain their own personality.