A study has found an amazing connection between a child and mother, deeper than had ever been thought before.
A new study suggests that a mother’s voice may do a lot more to a child’s brain than simply soothe it.
Researchers found that when moms spoke, it activated several areas in a child’s brain, including regions involved in emotion, rewards processing, social functions and facial recognition, according to a Stanford University statement.
Scientists found that this was unique to mom, and didn’t apply to other women, as far as the child was concerned.
Scientists didn’t realize that a mother’s voice had such amazing access to the main systems of the brain in a child. While previous studies had shown that children prefer their mother’s voice, the mechanism was unclear.
Scientists examined brain scans of children listening to their mother’s voices in the study, which involved 24 children between the ages of 7 and 12 who had an IQ of at least 80 and no developmental disorders. The mothers were told to say three nonsense words, and compared it to clips of recordings from unfamiliar women.
The researchers found children could identify their own mother with 97 percent accuracy, even when recordings were less than 1 second long.
“Nobody had really looked at the brain circuits that might be engaged,” senior author Vinod Menon, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, said in the statement. “We wanted to know: Is it just auditory and voice-selective areas that respond differently, or is it more broad in terms of engagement, emotional reactivity and detection of salient stimuli?
“This is an important new template for investigating social communication deficits in children with disorders such as autism,” he continued. “Voice is one of the most important social communication cues. It’s exciting to see that the echo of one’s mother’s voice lives on in so many brain systems.”
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