Your unborn baby could differentiate various sounds used in different languages even before his/her birth, suggests a study.
-In a recent study conducted at the University of Kansas, researchers found that foetuses were able to hear things, including speech, in the womb, although the voice is muffled.
-The team of researchers examined 24 women, roughly 8 months pregnant.
-A bilingual speaker made both the types of recordings, one each in English and Japanese (argued to be a rhythmically distinctive language), to be played in succession to the foetus.
-In the study, the heart rate of the foetuses changed when they heard the unfamiliar, rhythmically distinct language (Japanese) after having heard a passage of English speech, while their heart rates did not change when they were presented with the second passage of English instead of a passage in Japanese.
-These preliminary results suggest that language development could start while the baby is still in his/her mother’s womb.
-Foetuses were seen to turn their ears to the language that they would acquire after birth even before they were born, on the basis of various speech signals that they receive when inside their mother’s womb.
Source: NeuroReport Journal