Can hearing music in the womb boost babies' brain development? - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Can hearing music in the womb boost babies' brain development?

Updated: Oct 31, 2013 11:28 AM
© Thinkstock / Comstock / Thinkstock © Thinkstock / Comstock / Thinkstock
  • HealthMore>>

  • The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
  • Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.
    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.
  • Lift U.S. ban on blood donations by gay men

    Lift U.S. ban on blood donations by gay men

    The United States should repeal a 30-year policy that bans blood donations from gay and bisexual men, according to a team of medical and legal experts writing this week in the Journal of the American Medical...
    The United States should repeal a 30-year policy that bans blood donations from gay and bisexual men, according to a team of medical and legal experts writing this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Playing music for babies while they are still in the womb could boost their brain development, a new study suggests.

Finnish researchers reported the findings Oct. 30 in the journal PLoS One.

"Even though we've previously shown that fetuses could learn minor details of speech, we did not know how long they could retain the information," study author Eino Partanen, from the University of Helsinki, said in a journal news release. "These results show that babies are capable of learning at a very young age, and that the effects of the learning remain apparent in the brain for a long time."

In conducting the study, the researchers asked women in their third trimester of pregnancy to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" at least five times per week. Meanwhile, a separate group of women did not play any music during their final trimester.

Shortly after birth, the researchers measured the infants' brain activity when they listened to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" as well as a similar tune with some different notes in it, to determine if any learning had taken place. They repeated this assessment when the babies were 4 months old.

They found that when infants heard the song before birth, their brain activity was much stronger when they heard the original song than when they heard the modified version. The effect was still present when the babies were 4 months old.

The researchers said the period between the 27th week of pregnancy and six months after a baby is born is critical to the development of the auditory system.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.