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Research Topic 1: Newborn Language

Infants born into families that speak tonal languages have more melodically complex cries, according to research published in both the Journal of Voice and Speech, Language and Hearing. The researchers compared cries of German newborns (under 1 week old) to those of newborns in China and Cameroon, whose mothers spoke tonal languages-those which the same sound can have different meaning depending on the pitch at which it’s spoken. The researchers found that the crying of Chinese and Cameroonian newborns had more melodic variation and up and down, chanting like tones than German babies’ cries. This is further evidence that language begins in the womb the researchers say.

Research Topic 2: Baby Math

The precursors of math ability may show up in babies as young as 6 months, suggests a study in Psychological Science. The researchers showed 63 6 to 13 month old babies videos of two rotating three dimensional shapes. Some of the babies looked longer than other babies when the objects were rotated in a novel mirror-image way- a sign that those babies were better able to mentally rotate the shapes. Four years later, the researchers found that the spatially skilled babies (now preschoolers) had a better understanding of basic math concepts than their less-skilled peers, even after accounting for the children’s general cognitive abilities.

Therefore, start language in the womb either through reading or speaking to the womb or playing music throughout the day while pregnant and start exposing infants to math concepts in infancy.

Happy Holidays,
Susie Bean Gives