Mental growth in babies at risk

by Medindia Content Team on  April 19, 2003 at 12:14 PM General Health News
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Mental growth in babies at risk
New research indicates that cacophony may have an detrimental effect on infant's brain, reducing its ability to recognise sounds. The research claimed, it a reason behind increasing language learning disorders. With increase in noise pollution in societies, the hearing center of a baby's sensitive developing brain could be damaged. In an experiment conducted on young rats, the hearing center, or auditory cortex, in a growing rat's brain undergoes swift and radical reorganisation when subjected to continuous noise. Moreover the researchers found that the auditory cortex took longer than normal to mature.

Since all mammals share similar basic patterns of brain development they are likely to apply to humans. Further experiments showed that rats whose brain development was held back were able to improve once they left the noisy environment. Hence researchers emphasise the importance that children, especially those at risk, be exposed to salient features in speech sounds in order for their auditory development to be normal. Researchers are now investigating whether people with developmental disorders are unusually vulnerable to noise.

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