Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Study Finds Babies Give Up Their Food Even When Hungry

Three babies enjoy a drink of milk.
Three babies enjoy a drink of milk.
Fred Morley/Getty Images

Listen to story

Download this story 16MB

We’ve all heard about the terrible twos - but a new study from the University of Washington has found that young children might not be so terrible after all.

The study, published last month in the journal Nature, found that infants show altruistic behavior when they are as young as 19 months old. However, humans’ closest living primate relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, are less likely to share food as infants.

Researchers found that toddlers were willing to give up their food to a hungry stranger. Furthermore, the experiment found that the 19-month-old children would give up nutrient-rich food when they were themselves hungry.


Rodolfo Cortes Barragan, lead author of the study on babies and altruism; a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington