Prenatal learning: infants remember music in the womb
If expectant mothers sing to their offspring or play music before birth, this can have a positive impact on the development of the child. Because, according to the latest study, infants remember what they heard in the womb. This has an impact on speech understanding.
Audition calms babies
Many mothers like to sing to their baby to calm him down. It has already been scientifically proven that this works. For example, researchers from the University of Montreal (Canada) found that singing crying babies calmed much better than speaking. It's best for women to start auditioning before giving birth. Because as Austrian scientists have now found in a study, infants remember what they heard in the womb. And that has an impact on speech understanding.
Unborn babies in the womb are listening
“Babies in the womb start hearing around the seventh month of pregnancy. As a newborn, they recognize the mother's voice and noises that they have often heard in the womb in the first few weeks - including pieces of music, ”wrote the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) on their website.
This has now been shown by a current study in Austria. Accordingly, infants remember children's songs that the mother sang to them during pregnancy.
Intense reactions to maternal singing
As the APA news agency reports, the study with 30 newborns at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Salzburg showed that the babies reacted intensely to the maternal singing. The researchers believe that this facilitates or improves speech understanding.
According to the information, the researchers let 30 pregnant women sing two children's songs ("Bi-Ba-Butzemann" and "Schlafe, mein Kindchen") and recorded them on CD. From the 34th week of pregnancy, the expectant mothers played these songs twice a day on the in-house music system at a certain volume.
In the second and fifth week after birth, the children were played the songs again - sung by the mother and another woman - and their brain reaction was measured using a special EEG.
Improve speech understanding
The experts found that the brain waves oscillate into the vibrations of the language.
Manuel Schabus, head of the Laboratory for Sleep, Cognition and Consciousness Research at the University of Salzburg, told APA: “The valleys and mountains of the two vibrations overlap, the brain is obviously trying to vibrate in a similar way to language and therefore to be able to divide the syllables. "
This coupling of the brain to language presumably facilitates or improves speech understanding. According to Schabus, the infants, of course, could not understand the semantics of the lyrics, "but could very well break down the words as we break down syllables".
This coupling was said to be even more intense when the songs were sung by the mother and not by another woman.
Prenatal learning studies
According to Schabus, previous studies on prenatal learning have been carried out with very few babies. In addition, the children's response is only registered by means of heart rate, teat frequency or movement patterns. Brain studies at this early age had never been done before.
The scientists want to examine the - as yet unpublished - results to confirm a control group of infants who have not heard the songs in the womb. (ad)