June 9, 2023

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Can Pregnant Mother Listening to Music Help Baby Talk?

Friday – 23 Ramadan 1444 AH – 14 April 2023 AD Issue no. [16208]

Cairo: Hazem Badr

When pregnant women sing to their babies or listen to music through loudspeakers during pregnancy, babies are born with a better ability to encode speech sounds into neurons.
This is one of the main results of a study led by Carlos Essera from the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Barcelona and published in the latest issue of the journal “Developmental Science”.
The results of this study provide new perspectives on the effects of prenatal music exposure on linguistic stimulation using a specific brain response, the ‘follow-frequency response (FFR)’. Speech sounds.
According to the results, daily music exposure during the last weeks of pregnancy is associated with improved encoding of low-frequency vocal compositions, which may improve the perception of pitch in newborns.
The study was based on a comparison of postnatal frequency response recordings in 60 healthy newborns (12 to 72 hours), 29 who were exposed to music daily during the prenatal period and 31 who were not exposed to music.
Specifically, the infants’ EEG recordings were analyzed for two different speech stimuli and found that daily exposure to music during the third trimester of pregnancy was associated with stronger encoding of speech stimuli.
The researchers found that exposure to music during pregnancy had no effect on the speed of neural transmission, a result of myelination of underlying neural structures, in contrast to the faster processing speed of auditory and verbal stimuli found in music-trained adults.
“This is the first step towards a specific clinical application after the necessary follow-up studies, so children with poor brain response, for example, low birth weight babies, may benefit from a music intervention program.

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