Health Day - ONLINE EDITION

Can Hearing Music in the Womb Boost Babies' Brain Development?

Study showed the effects of the learning was still apparent at 4 months of age

  • Print

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.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides more information on the human brain.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Winnipeg control growth to deal with climate change?

View Results

Ads by Google