An interesting new study shows the powerful effect a mother’s voice has on their children.
The research which was conducted at Stanford University found that, on hearing their mother’s voice, children’s brains lit up in less than a second showing that recognition is extremely quick.
The study involved researching the brain activity of 24 normally developing children between the ages of 7 and 12 and used voice recordings of both the mothers of the children and unrelated women. They found that 97 percent of the time, children recognized their mother’s voice within a second despite the mother using random nonsense words, as reported in TIME.
Using brain scan data, the researchers looked at which areas of the brain were most activated in the children and found a significant activity in the area of the brain associated with processing emotional information. This also lead the authors to note that children with more connections in the brain when hearing their mother’s voice are more socially gifted than those who have less.
Study author, Daniel Abrams, an instructor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University explains that these new findings open up the understanding of the deep connection between mother and child.
“Many of our social, language and emotional processes are learned by listening to our mom’s voice. But surprisingly little is known about how the brain organizes itself around this very important sound source. We didn’t realize that a mother’s voice would have such quick access to so many different brain systems.”
The study hopes to further investigate the brain activity of children who are less socially able like those with autism, as children who did less well on recognizing their mother’s voice had particular occurring brain patterns.
The study was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.