Music remembered from before birth

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Toby Jones, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Toby Jones

    Toby Jones Guest

    11 July, 2001, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK Babies remember womb music

    Babies can remember sounds they heard in the womb more than a year after birth, a study has found.
    The research demonstrated that one-year-old babies recognise music they were exposed to up to three
    months before birth.

    Previously experts thought that babies could only remember anything for a month or two.

    The results of the study by Leicester University (were) being shown on the BBC's Child Of Our Time

    The Child Of Our Time study involved a small group of mothers playing a single piece of music to
    their babies for the last three months before birth.

    The music was chosen by the mother and included classical, pop and reggae.

    More than a year later, 11 of the babies were tested and showed a preference for these pieces of
    music compared with very similar pieces of music they had not heard before.


    Dr Alexandra Lamont, from the university's music research group, said this provides new evidence
    about the influence of nurture in early child development.

    "We know the foetus in the womb is able to hear fully only 20 weeks after conception.

    "Now we have discovered that babies can remember and prefer music that they heard before they were
    born over 12 months later."

    The baby's preference was shown by the amount of time spent looking towards the source of the music.

    Their attention was attracted by flashing lights before the music was played out of a speaker next
    to the light.

    A control group of children tested with the same pieces of music showed no preference for a
    particular piece.

    Pace not style

    Dr Lamont said the pace of the music was more important than the style.

    "The babies recognise UB40 just as much as they do Mozart but the pace of the music seems to be

    "The babies with faster music like Five's If Ya Gettin' Down or the start of Vivaldi's Four Seasons
    show stronger preferences than the babies with slower music like Mozart's Adagio for Wind."