While Donald Trump might have found a baby's cry somewhat distracting, a new study says the sound of crying babies can adversely affect adults' ability to perform basic tasks, but also triggers decisiveness in our response. Jim Drury reports.
SOUNDBITE (English) DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE, SAYING: "Actually, I was only kidding. You can get the baby out of here." As Donald Trump showed, a baby's cry can be very distracting. UPSOT: BABY CRY We've long known this, but until now haven't understood its effect on our cognitive process. University of Toronto volunteers wearing EEG caps undertook basic tasks, while exposed to the sound of wailing infants. SOUNDBITE (English) NICHOLA NONIS, POSTGRADUATE STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, SAYING: "I was more aware of it at first but I found that as the task went on I kind of ignored it, in a sense, but I feel it definitely did affect my performance because you have the baby crying in your ears while you're doing the task." Brain data showed that despite a reduced attention span, volunteers became more decisive. SOUNDBITE (English) DAVID HALEY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, SAYING: "We always just thought that the infant was able to grab our attention and that it didn't necessarily affect anything else.....so it's the first time we've really shown that when you hear an infant cry and you orient to it that additional cognitive resources come online to help you figure out what to do about it." Results were similar for men and women. Researchers say it's the first such study examining the effects of infant vocalisation on adult neural activity. The team plans to test the neural reactions of new mums to their offspring's cries, and hopes to help improve their responses. So what about the recent reaction of the US Republican Party's Presidential nominee's reaction to the sounds of a blubbing baby? SOUNDBITE DAVID HALEY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, SAYING: "He had no problem making that decision to get the infant out of there. It's a very aversive stimuli and he made a quick decision." SOUNDBITE (English) DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE, SAYING: "I think she believed me when I said I love hearing a baby crying while I'm speaking. That's okay. People don't understand."