Newsweek's cover story is about advances in cognitive development in infants which show that babies are far more capable of emotion, memory, and analytical processing than was ever thought possible.
In that zombie-like stimulus-response phase when we think they don't have a personality, and they don't know who we are or what we're saying, well, guess what? It turns out if they're not learning Mandarin or identifying individual chimpanzees at a glance, they're probably already figuring out whose fault it'll be when they don't get into Harvard 18 years from now.
Researchers are talking about key "emotional milestones" that infants should be monitored for which can show either normal development or early signs of possibile disabilities and even the 'a' word: autism.
One psychiatry professor at GWU--who figures new parents don't have enough anxiety as it is--puts it this way:
"I'd like to see doctors screen babies for these milestones and tell parents exactly what to do if their babies are not mastering them. One of our biggest problems now is that parents may sense intuitively that something is not right," but by the time they are able to get their child evaluated, "that family has missed a critical time to, maybe, get that baby back on track."
Reading Your Baby's Mind [newsweek]