What your baby hears while in the womb can shape his brain! What your baby hears while in the womb can shape his brain!

What your baby hears while in the womb can shape his brain!

What your baby hears while in the womb can shape his brain!

Scientists have found evidence that the neurodevelopment of babies still in the womb is affected by the language they hear their mothers speaking during the months of pregnancy.

In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, neuroscientists at the University of Padua in Italy, in collaboration with the National Center for Scientific Research and the University of Paris City, observed specific changes in brain patterns in newborns when they were exposed to speech, indicating that their brains are already attuned to language. their mothers, and with the basic rhythms of speech.

Previous research has shown that babies still in the womb (starting around seven months old) can hear when their mothers speak. They can also hear other sounds, such as music and general noise. They can also recognize their mother's voice after birth and specific melodies related to her speech. What is less understood is what kind of impact hearing such things has on the neurological development of a child's brain. To learn more, the research team in Italy conducted an experiment involving 33 newborn babies and their mothers, all of whom were French speakers.

The experiments included providing all newborn volunteers with caps that allow for EEG monitoring in the days following birth. While the children slept, the team played recordings of someone reading French, English and Spanish versions of the story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

Through EEG readings, the research team found that children listening to the story in French showed an increase in long-range temporal associations, which are brain waves associated with speech perception and processing.

Scientists point out that this result is evidence that a child's brain is affected in a unique way by exposure to a unique language while in the womb, which in this case is French.

“These findings provide the most convincing evidence to date that linguistic experience already shapes the functional organization of a child’s brain, even before birth,” the team wrote in the paper.

This suggests that soon after birth, we are already able to recognize and comprehend the language we heard while in the womb.

In addition, the team found that these brain oscillations, which were activated by the French language, were at a specific frequency associated with natural speech rhythms. It seems that we are ready to start learning how to speak, even when we are only a few days old.

“The neonatal brain may already be in an ideal state for efficient processing of speech and language, supporting unexpected language learning abilities in infants,” the researchers wrote.

Revealing the "surprising effect" of caffeine on the brain!

Consuming a large amount of caffeine every day can suppress the brain's ability to renew itself, according to an analysis of two interesting studies.
Researchers from the Center for Neuromodulation Research at Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, analyzed brain signals associated with learning and preserving memories in 20 individuals, revealing surprising details that challenge assumptions that caffeine promotes plasticity.

Caffeine has a reputation for giving us a boost of alertness, thanks to its ability to block adenosine, a brain chemical that helps us feel sleepy at the right time.

Adenosine also affects a process called long-term potentiation (LTP), which in simple terms means how neurons in the brain strengthen the connections between them – thought to be crucial for the brain receiving new information and adapting over time.

A total of 16 people who drank between one and five caffeinated drinks daily, and four people who barely consumed caffeine, underwent a brain stimulation procedure designed to simulate the brain's readiness to learn, called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS.

The team then looked for signs of electrical impulses in the nervous system as a way to measure LTP. For those who did not drink caffeinated beverages, the effects of LTP seemed significantly stronger.

According to researchers, regular stimulation from caffeine may cause an antagonistic effect in the brain, which may explain decreased levels of plasticity - but this is just a hypothesis at the moment.

There are caveats about only 20 people participating in this research.

The review also relied on self-reported caffeine doses, which means researchers can't know how different doses of caffeinated beverages actually affect long-term suppleness.

However, the review was an empirical investigation aimed at informing future hypotheses.

The researchers intend to investigate further through careful, well-controlled prospective studies, in which the timing and dose of caffeine intake are strictly regulated before testing.

The researchers say this would provide “a better estimate of bioavailability to the central nervous system and its association with plasticity responses.”

“A better understanding of how caffeine alters the underlying mechanism of learning and memory, as well as the potential impact of caffeine on rTMS clinical effects, deserves further attention,” the researchers wrote.

The research was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.  

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