By Anupum Pant
When babies first start crawling, irrespective of how big a drop is, they’ll just crawl over the edge, not knowing they’d fall. That’s pretty natural. And after a few weeks of crawling they learn that crawling over the edge is not a good thing to do and automatically stop when they see a visual cliff. This works even if there is a visual cliff, but a pane of transparent glass over it. The baby, if it has learned not to crawl over the edge, wont crawl on to the pane of glass because it sees a dangerous cliff.
The interesting part is that the babies do not learn about the cliff at all. They learn about crawling. Doesn’t seem very different, does it? The difference is clear when a baby first starts walking. A newly walking baby would step over the cliff happily, and get hurt. Even when it had learned not to do so while crawling. But after a few weeks of walking they learn not to do it. Just like they learned while crawling.