This is how a mother’s voice affects the development of a baby’s brain

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A new study has found that a mother's voice plays a vital part in forming connections in the brain

It’s been long established that babies can hear their mother’s voice from inside the womb, and that after birth, newborns are able to recognize their mother’s voice.

Now, thanks to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, we also know that children’s brains are far more responsive to their mother’s voice compared to other people’s voices. Researchers found that the regions that respond strongly to the mother’s voice aren’t limited to the auditory areas; they also include those involved in emotion and social functions, Aeon reports.

“We didn’t realise that a mother’s voice would have such quick access to so many different brain systems”

mother's voice baby

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“The extent of the regions that were engaged was really quite surprising,” senior author Vinod Menon said in a news release.

The study found that the stronger the connections between the brain regions activated by the mother’s voice, the better the child’s communication skills usually are in the future.

“Many of our social, language, and emotional processes are learned by listening to our mum’s voice,” said lead author Daniel Abrams. “But surprisingly little is known about how the brain organizes itself around this very important sound source. We didn’t realise that a mother’s voice would have such quick access to so many different brain systems.”

Read more about this amazing study on the next page.

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