A new study conducted at the University of Montreal and Sainte- Justine University Hospital Research Centre has shown that babies instinctively respond to their mothers’ voice and that this plays an important role in activating the brain of the baby and in fostering learning of language and so on.
Electrical recordings made within 24 hours of birth, showed that infants reacted to other women’s voices; but however that they respond strongly to the sound of their own mothers’ voice. Researchers claim that this is the first evidence that shows that mom’s voice is special to babies.
In the study, electrodes were attached to the heads of babies when they were sleeping – then the mother as well as the attending nurse, were asked to make certain enunciations.
The researchers found that “When the mother spoke, the scans very clearly show reactions in the left-hemisphere of the brain, and in particular the language processing and motor skills circuit. Conversely, when the stranger spoke, the right-hemisphere of the brain reacted. The right-hemisphere is associated with voice recognition.”
The research also involved the nurse meeting with the mother prior to birth so that the baby was already familiar with the voice of the nurse. This research gives further credence to the fact that “Motherese” the special voice that a mother uses to communicate with her babies, is special indeed!