Thursday, 31 October 2013

I've heard that one before...

It has often been said that babies in the womb have the ability to listen and even respond to their mother's voice and other external noises. However scientists from the cognitive brain research unit at Helsinki University, have transposed this idea to another level.

A study using 24 pregnant women in their last trimester was carried out. 12 expectant mothers were asked to play the melody of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to their foetus' for 5 days each week, whilst the other 12 did not (so they could act as a control). Once the babies were born the scientists played the same version of the nursery rhyme to all 24 children and measured their brain activity via electroencephalography.

The results showed that the babies who were exposed to the melody as foetus' had a stronger electrical response to the music than those who did not hear the ditty before birth. This indicates, that babies are extremely able to learn information at an early age and also have the ability to retain information for a long period of time; suggesting that time in the womb can act as a valuable opportunity to help babies develop.


Explorer Fact: According to this study the babies still respond to music played to them in the womb up to the age of 4 months!

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