When a mother’s voice soothes a baby

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Is there really any point in mothers-to-be to talking to their unborn child during pregnancy? According to Canadian researchers, the answer to this is a most definite “YES”! By placing electrodes on the heads of 16 infants they were able to show that their mother’s voice was indeed “special” for these babies.

The tests were carried out while the infants were sleeping. Each of the mothers was asked to make a short sound including the vowel A, as in the word ‘hallo’.

The same experiment was then carried out again, but this time the mother’s voice was replaced by that of the nurse who had brought the babies to the laboratory.

Scintigrams clearly showed the babies’ reactions in the left hemisphere of the brain (the area of the brain associated with linguistic and verbomotor processing) after hearing the mother’s voice.

Whereas, when the nurse spoke, it was the right hemisphere that reacted and this part of the brain is associated more with vocal recognition.

Although the babies did respond to the voices of other women, this study shows that their brain showed a greater reaction to their mother’s voice.

Which is a good enough reason to stimulate the left hemisphere of your baby’s brain during pregnancy! So feel free to talk to your unborn baby. Obviously it can do no harm.

And then there is also the interesting question of whether a baby’s brain also reacts in a specific way to its father’s voice.

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