Friday 17 November 2017

Babies detect sadness in voices at three months

Stephen Adams in London

BABIES as young as three months old can distinguish sad from neutral-sounding voices, according to a new study.

Parts of their brains tasked with processing emotion light up more when the babies hear sad voices, researchers at two London universities found .

When looking at three to seven-month-olds, they also found they were more attuned to human sounds like coughing or yawning, than those made by toys or water.

Evelyne Mercure of University College London said: "Our results suggest the infant temporal cortex is more mature than previously reported.

"It is a rare demonstration that specialised areas exist in the brain very early in development."

Anna Blasi of King's College London, added: "It is probably because the human voice is such an important social cue that the brain shows an early specialisation for its processing.

"This may represent the very first step in social interactions and language learning." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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