Thursday, January 10, 2013

Language Learning Begins in Utero, Study Finds; Newborn Memories of Oohs and Ahs Heard in the Womb

Newborns are much more attuned to the sounds of their native language than first thought. In fact, these linguistic whizzes can up pick on distinctive sounds of their mother tongue while in utero, a new study has concluded. Research led by Christine Moon, a professor of psychology at Pacific Lutheran University, shows that infants, only hours old showed marked interest for the vowels of a language that was not their mother tongue. "We have known for over 30 years that we begin learning prenatally about voices by listening to the sound of our mother talking," Moon said. "This is the first study that shows we learn about the particular speech sounds of our mother's language before we are born." more

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