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.

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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.

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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.

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Learning in the Womb

Hence the moment a child is conceived, its brain is developing rapidly in the fetus. Scientific findings reveal that the temporal lobe, the home of the primary auditory cortex for auditory perception, and for the processing of semantics in both speech and vision, is the first to develop after the neonatal root at the top of the brain stem. The outer cortex of the brain develops from right to left, and the right hemisphere is highly active in the womb, while the left hemisphere is relatively dormant. The infant’s early developing right hemisphere also has deep connections into the limbic and autonomic nervous systems for memory, emotions and perception.

During fetal development, emotions and even thoughts are absorbed there by the fetus from impulses it receives from its mother, and turn eventually into the foundation of rudimentary communications of infancy. Experiments show that fetus can distinguish a new syllable when it arises in the middle of a repeated familiar word, can also distinguish a male voice from a female one, preferably to its mother’s voice, and retained a memory of linguistic elements “prosody” that it heard before its birth. In experiments conducted with pregnant women during the final weeks of pregnancy, the mothers were asked first to keep silent for three minutes and then to sing a song. When the mothers began to sing, all the babies instantly began to move, and their heartbeats also accelerated. But the babies’ reactions varied widely, due to different emotional overtone of any given song, which indicates that a baby’s interactions with its mother’s emotions begin to shape its temperament even while it is still in the womb.

This remarkable phenomenon makes scientists to believe that infants are supersensitive with extra sensory abilities, carried out through the phenomenal fetal right hemisphere to detect and process information received both internally and externally. It’s through these senses developed during the life in the womb that the child will construct its first mental representations of the world, which will subsequently refine by means of language.

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