The University of Helsinki performed a new study that discovered infants can recognize a lullaby heard in the womb several months after they are born. This may play a role in their speech development as they grow.

For the study, 24 women during their final trimesters played the melody of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” five days a week. The babies’ brains reacted strongly to the melody up to four months after they were born.

Results show that fetuses can remember sounds from the outside world. Even though earlier research indicated that fetuses can learn minor details of speech, researchers did not know how long babies could retain information.

This research shows babies are capable of learning at a very young age, and the learning remains in the brain for a considerable amount of time.

The early mechanisms of memory is unknown to researchers. The next step is to track how long fetal memories remain in the brain.

Researchers believe song and speech are beneficial for babies’ speech development, as processing speech and singing in baby brains is partly based on shared mechanisms.

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