Monday, December 27, 2010

You cannot read this study without recognizing that even babies removed from their mothers AT BIRTH do nto suffer a loss and separation...a depravation that needs to heal.

Scientific study shows the voice of moms activate a baby's brain and learning

Scientists from the University of Montreal and Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center in Canada attached electrodes to a group of 16 24 hour  old babies to monitor brain activity. After performing the study, the researchers found the following  remarkable result: the voice of  a mother but not of a nurse, doctor or a stranger robustly activate the language processing centers of the brain in the newborn.   In other words, this is the first study of its kind that shows that the voice of mothers is unique and babies inherently recognize their mother's voice possibly even inside the womb. More importantly, the electroencephalography and MRI studies show high resolution scans that pinpoint the activation of the Wernicke's area of the left hemisphere of the brain, the brain area that is specialized in language development and recognition in human beings.

 The scientists used a couple of controls in their studies to help with the interpretation of their results.  The researchers also involved a nurse who is herself a mother in their studies and also ruled out the "novelty" aspect by having the mother talk to a nurse at regular intervals before birth. Amazingly, their results still held water and proved that a mother's voice is only recognized by babies as the brain scans only showed selective activations of the language areas of the brain.


 It has been well documented that newborn babies do have some innate language capacities. Moreover, infants may not only learn to specifically recognize their mother's voice but also show adult-like responses in the brain to human voice at 7 but not 4 months of age. However,  scientists are only just beginning to understand what the cognitive capacities of newborn babies are and the mechanisms by which babies learn and vocalize language. Nevertheless, what these studies do not currently show is whether the mother's voice is also important for brain development and learning in the child.   Hence, future studies are imperative to determine whether there are any deficiencies seen in babies in which mothers spend less than the average or ideal time talking to their newborn babies.  [Or are totally separated from] Moreover, studies like this have never been performed in such young participants which stresses the fact that many exciting and useful scientific discoveries with regards to the developing infant brain can be discovered with such a low number of participants (16) and can help us understand the pathological basis for speech language deficiencies and autism.

 Moreover, the implications of these clinical findings are broad and other leading hospitals in the nation that perform pediatric research should conduct future studies as to whether a speech-language deficiencies in the infant could partly be a result of low mother to infant contact and interaction, even at such an early age.

   At the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital, there are a variety of speech language pathology programs that  perform cutting edge research which also involve clinical trials. Right now, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is conducting a long term child neurology research registry. This is a large scale research initiative to store and track medical records of infants of all ages for statistical purposes. Moreover, this local clinical research initiative will help to elucidate the  etiology and root causes of many neurological diseases including infant speech language deficiencies.


Von said...

Thanks Mirah for another interesting and valuable post.I'm posting a link to put it with a piece on babies and 'mind reading'.Hope that's ok and the holiday season also for you.

Mirah Riben said...

Thanks, Von. Just passing it along. Please share a link to your blog post.

And, yes, my holidays were very can catch up more on my personal life via Facebook:!/mirah.riben

Robin said...

I understand the need to establish that babies do know and grieve the separation from their first mother at birth. However,the issue is more than just the loss of the mother. It is the loss of the father, the grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. The loss of one's heritage, ancestry, one's clan. It seems the pro-adoptionists can always argue that it can not be proven that infants know their own mothers but it is much harder to argue that the loss of one's whole clan is meaningless.

Mirah Riben said...

ABSOLUTELY Robin, Losing one's mother is just one piece of the puzzle, especially for the adopted transnationally who loose their language and heritage and become strangers in their country of origin. The losses are tremendous and totally overlooked by those who push adoption for profit and personal gain.

I was listening yesterday (on the Tyra Show) to a discussion of biracial and multiracial people and whether or not there ought to be a designation for such on the census. The discussion got into IDENTITY and a couple of very eloquent speakers who said that they were no more one race or another than they were a product of their father and not their mother or vice versa - that they needed to embrace it ALL in order to feel WHOLE.

What really gets me are the conservatives who rail about the "fatherlessness of America" and how it turns chidlren into delinquents, but then push for hoops like PFR and eagerly tell mothers to lie and say they don;t know who the father of their child is and simply violate his constitutional rights in order to allow a child to be taken for adoption! it's sinful and day every day - most often in UTAH by the LDS!

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget