Do babies understand grown-ups?

Do babies understand grown-ups? To prove it, a search

Although they are not able to answer and speak, newborns, even those just a few days after birth, are able to recognize words and often understand their meaning. This is confirmed by the neuro-scientists of Udine, who managed to get into the heads of the youngest. That's how...

Babies recognize sounds and understand words

The little ones, even if they are only a few weeks old, understand exactly the meaning of the dialogues, but also of the individual words that are spoken to them by the grown-ups. Even when adults enjoy talking to him in "neonatese", made of warbles and crippled words, he seems almost bored, as if to say "but who did you take me for? For someone who doesn't understand anything?"


A team of researchers from the Santa Maria della Misericordia hospital in Udine took samples of about 44 newborns and made them listen to some words that were easy to understand, repeating them at 2-minute intervals and alternating them with others that were similar in terms of sound or the presence of some groups of vowels and consonants. Thanks to "spectroscopy" (fNIRS), it was possible to observe that, when children heard similar words, they obtained a response in the right frontal region of the brain, that is, in the part of the central nervous system that lights up even in large people when they recognize words. In short, it has been possible to understand that newborns under 6 months of age are already able to recognize sounds and understand words. So parents who talk to their children right from the start are doing more than good. In this way, in fact, they offer them security and information that reassures them and makes them certain of a continuous affective presence.

L. F.


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