Why mums can hear babies crying over loud noises

Neuroscientists discover why mums can hear a baby’s cry from the other side of the room, even if it’s a noisy party

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Mums have the ability to tune in to the sound of babies crying, no matter how loud the background noise, say scientists, reports The Times Of India.

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Researchers in the US studied bat brains and their ability to distinguish sounds they focus on and which to ignore.  The results showed that bats have some neurons in the brain that tell other neurons to be quiet and some neurons to be louder, so sounds can be heard over background noise.  This is a process they think could be working in humans as well.

“All organisms are constantly assaulted by incoming stimuli such as sounds, light, vibrations, and so on, and our sensory systems have to triage the most relevant stimuli to help us survive,” said Bridget Queenan, a doctoral candidate at the Georgetown University Medical Center.

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“As humans we are not only sensitive to a child’s cry, but we notice flashing ambulance lights even though we are engrossed in something else. We want to know how that happens,” added Bridget.

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