Navigation Links
Do Babies Begin Learning Language in the Womb?

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Language development begins in the womb, during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, a small new study of U.S. and Swedish infants suggests.

Researchers noted that these skills can be demonstrated within the first few hours of life.

"The mother has first dibs on influencing the child's brain," study co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, said in a school news release. "The vowel sounds in her speech are the loudest units and the fetus locks onto them."

Just hours after birth, babies can tell the difference between their mother's native language and a foreign language, the study authors found. They said this indicates that babies are able to listen to their mothers talk by the time they reach 30 weeks of gestational age, much earlier than previously thought.

"This is the first study that shows fetuses learn prenatally about the particular speech sounds of a mother's language," study lead author Christine Moon, professor of psychology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., said in the news release. "This study moves the measurable result of experience with speech sounds from six months of age to before birth."

The study involved 40 infants less than two days old. The babies, born either in Tacoma or Stockholm, were an even mix of girls and boys. While they were in the nursery, the babies listened to vowel sounds both in their mother's native language and in foreign languages.

The babies were given pacifiers that were wired to a computer set up to measure their reaction to the sounds they heard. The researchers assessed how interested the babies were in the vowel sounds by how long the babies sucked on their pacifier.

Longer or shorter sucking for unfamiliar or familiar sounds would demonstrate their ability to differentiate between sounds they heard while they were still in the womb.

Right after birth, the babies sucked longer for the foreign language than they did for their native language. The study's authors concluded that exploring how infants learn could provide insight on learning at all stages of life.

"We want to know what magic they put to work in early childhood that adults cannot," Kuhl said. "We can't waste that early curiosity."

The study appeared online recently in the journal Acta Paediatrica.

More information

Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics to learn more about language development.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of Washington, news release, Jan. 2, 2013

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Fussy babies spend more time in front of the TV
2. Obese moms risk having babies with low vitamin D
3. Let Babies Cry It Out, Study Suggests
4. While in womb, babies begin learning language from their mothers
5. Thousands of U.S. Babies Born With Cleft Lip, Palate Each Year
6. Flu Drug Tamiflu OK for Babies Under 1: FDA
7. Having Babies Sit Up May Help Them Learn
8. Babies born to mothers from the Philippines significantly smaller than those of Canadian-born women
9. Bigger Babies Have Bigger Brains as Teens: Study
10. RSV study shows potential for vaccine strategies to protect babies
11. Babies born to stressed mothers more likely to be bullied at school
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Do Babies Begin Learning Language in the Womb?
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... It’s official: Tattoo taboo is a thing of the past. One in ... whopping one in three aged 18 to 25 is inked). As tattoos transition to ... In fact, RealSelf , the world’s largest community for learning and sharing information ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The workstation ... lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches MED-TAB™ -- the world’s first portable DICOM-calibrated ... from November 29 to December 4, 2015. , MED-TAB is expected to ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Diabetic foot wounds are ... are well aware that psychology-based patient non-compliance (disobedience of a health care provider’s ... diseases of the diabetic foot. The American Board of Multiple Specialties in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The importance ... imaging is the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here, at the ... Nine abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative breast imaging software ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... For many X-rays ... film for accurate interpretation by the radiologist. The marking utensils are so small, ... Calif., has found a way to alleviate this problem. , He developed the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has ... Treatment Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... to the report, the prevalence of mouth ulcers is ... by them. The factors contributing to this increase include ... disorders are also common among the aging population. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015 Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ... IMMY ) to drive access to a low-cost alternative ... of toxoplasmosis that has been recently priced out of reach ... immune systems. --> --> ... leucovorin (a form of folic acid) for $1 per capsule for ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... TOKYO , Nov. 30, 2015 MEDTEC Japan 2016, ... and Manufacturing industry, is to be held in Tokyo from 20 th  - 22 ... --> -->   --> ...   the United States . With the aging population ... markets continuing to grow steadily. --> the United States ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: