Researchers of a new study published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development have suggested that foetuses respond to their mothers’ voices better than to any other sound, and that the frequent exposure to certain sound patterns could be memorised by them in the third trimester of pregnancy, thereby potentially aiding in learning.
While the foetus inside of its mother’s body is in darknesses of the latter’s belly, placenta, and, amniotic fluid, with its eyes closed off from the world, it can still perceive through its environment. While the eyes cannot capture stimulus from its surroundings, its sense of hearing develops at some point such that it can hear. Oh, the beauties of life!
Now, to which sounds does an unborn baby respond?
A new study has shown that the mother’s voice is the predominant voice that a foetus hears, amongst all the other sounds. How marvelous is it that children hear their momma’s voices from inside the latter’s bodies?! Of life’s greatest miracles! The study enlisted the participation of 32 pregnant women who were in their third trimester, 28th week of pregnancy. The babies were made to hear a nursery rhyme thrice daily for six weeks from the 28th one. Then, their heart rates were monitored to assess any changes in heart beat rate. Other babies part of the experiment were made to hear recorded versions of the same nursery rhyme spoken by stranger women. The point of the study was to see whether the foetuses respond to the mothers’ voices or just to familiar pattern of speech.
Results of Study
The results showed that the unborn babies do respond to the familiar nursery rhymes: that happened on the 34th week of conception. The researchers thus inferred that the foetuses were able to remember the rhyme, until some time before they are born. This implies that they might be capable of learning at that stage. It was also shown that the mother’s voice is the predominant sound-stimulus for the child. Furthermore, the voice of the mother aids the foetus in early learning and memory stimulation.
Now, can foetuses remember sounds they hear even if they are not exposed to them on a daily basis? Well, science! Exposing us to more questions as it seemingly answers others.