Mystery of baby’s brain

A baby's brain is a mystery whose secrets scientists are just beginning to unravel. The mystery begins in the womb. According to neuroscience, the first simple synaptic contacts of human brains start during the fifth month of pregnancy.


Architect of baby’s brain

During infancy, baby’s experiences result in building neural connections. Learning strengthens the connections in a neural network, and the environmental inputs through the sensory stimuli shape the architecture of the baby’s brain.


Can baby learn with immature brain?

Evidence showed that synaptic reorganizations also occur in the immature brain, where a neuron may lose or increase connections that it had initially established through certain stimuli.


Study on Baby Learning in the Womb


A Melodic Contour Repeatedly Experienced by Human Near-Term Fetuses Elicits a Profound Cardiac Reaction One Month after Birth (2011)

Carolyn Granier-Deferre, etl, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France

Scope: One hundred and twenty five volunteer pregnant mothers with healthy uncomplicated singleton pregnancies participated in the study. Experimental fetuses were given precisely controlled exposure to a descending piano melody twice daily during the 35th, 36th, and 37th weeks of gestation.

Conclusions: 3-weeks of prenatal exposure to a specific melodic contour affects infants ‘auditory processing’ or perception, i.e., impacts the autonomic nervous system at least six weeks later, when infants are 1-month old. Results extend the retention interval over which a prenatally acquired memory of a specific sound stream can be observed from 3–4 days to six weeks. The long-term memory for the descending melody is interpreted in terms of enduring neurophysiological tuning and its significance for the developmental psychobiology of attention and perception, including early speech perception.


A Controlled Assessment of Fetal Sonic Stimulation Comparing Music and Cardiac Progressions (1992-2001)

Mikhail Lazarev, Center for Rehabilitative Medicine, Russian Ministry of Health

Scope: evaluate developmental outcomes from sonic stimulation upon the fetus, with a controlled study of maternal singing and recorded classical music contrasted with accelerated cardiac rhythms. The 31 voluntary mothers, ages ranged from 20 to 34, came from middle or lower socioeconomic backgrounds, with no family record of giftedness; individuals who had a history of smoking, alcohol, or drug use were excluded.

Conclusion: While this Russian project was limited in scope and substance due to budgetary constraints during a time of profound political upheaval, the results achieved statistical significance. Babies who had been stimulated pre-natally could lift up their heads two weeks earlier than other children, they could sit up and stand up sooner, and walk ahead of time. At six months they could fixate on something, e.g. tunes on TV, and their concentration developed earlier.An analysis of neonatal, infant, and academic achievement shows that both methods produce significant gains for receptive and expressive language, suggesting accelerated cognitive maturation which continues into the elementary school years.