The power of newborn babies

Newborn babies do nothing but eat, sleep and cry, right? Well, wrong. New research published in Nature Human Behavior has shown that they start tuning into language the moment they’re born. 

In the study, newborns were played recordings of spoken vowels played backwards and forwards while non-invasive neuroimaging measured changes in their brains.  After five hours of exposure the imaging showed that the newborns’ brains started distinguishing between the two sounds, and after two more hours (when the babies mainly slept) the exposure to the vowel contrast triggered a significant brain activity surge. Many expectant parents are told the ‘urban myth’ that babies who are played classical music and poetry in the womb and cradle become prodigies.

This new study certainly shows that we have astonishing sensitivity to language from our first moments, which we instantly start to develop and refine. If you’re expecting, perhaps it’s time to start playing some Mozart.

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