Unborn babies listen to their mothers talk during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and at birth can demonstrate what they’ve heard, researchers say.
Babies only hours old are able to differentiate between sounds from their native language and a foreign language, scientists have discovered. The study indicates that babies begin absorbing language while still in the womb, earlier than previously thought.
Sensory and brain mechanisms for hearing are developed at 30 weeks of gestational age, and the new study shows that unborn babies are listening to their mothers talk during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and at birth can demonstrate what they’ve heard.
“The mother has first dibs on influencing the child’s brain,” Patricia Kuhl, co-author of the study from the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, said.