Mum’s voice switches on newborn baby’s brain

Within hours of being born, babies react to their mum’s voice differently to the sound of anyone else

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Newborn babies’ brains respond differently to the sound of their mum’s voices than of anyone else, researchers have discovered. When their mum speaks, more of the brain reacts showing how important your speech is in helping your baby’s brain to develop.

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Researchers attached electrodes to the heads of 16 babies in the first 24 hours after their birth. They then recorded the electrical activity in different parts of the brain when first their mums spoke and then a nurse.

When their mum spoke, the left side of the brain reacted strongly, showing activity in the language and motor skills areas. When the nurse spoke, less of the brain responded – only the language recognition area in the right hand side.

“This is exciting research that proves for the first time that the newborn’s brain responds strongly to the mother’s voice and shows, scientifically speaking, that the mother’s voice is special to babies,” said lead researcher Dr. Maryse Lassonde from the University of Montreal.

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So get chatting to your newborn from the first few moments!

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