Babies Recall Womb Music a Year Later

Whether It´s Classical, Pop or Reggae, Says Study

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LONDON, JULY 11, 2001 ( More than a year after birth, babies can recall music they heard in the womb, a study has found, according to BBC.

Research by Leicester University shows that 1-year-old babies recognize music they were exposed to up to three months before birth. Previously experts thought that babies could only recall things for a month or two, BBC reported.

The 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, BBC said.

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 fetus in the womb is able to hear fully only 20 weeks after conception,» Lamont told BBC. «Now we have discovered that babies can remember and prefer music that they heard before they were born over 12 months later.»

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

Lamont said the pace of the music was more important than the style. «The babies recognize UB40 just as much as they do Mozart but the pace of the music seems to be influential,» she said.

The babies with faster music like the start of Vivaldi´s Four Seasons show stronger preferences than the babies with slower music like Mozart´s Adagio for Wind.

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