Swiss researchers help the development of the brain of premature babies with music

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Newborn music is stimulated by Swiss researchers who have shown in their study published in the American Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that neural networks of premature babies listening to such music are developing, especially the network of perception and perception, in a study published by the American Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

About 80 premature babies are cared for each year in the new intensive care unit at the University Hospital of Geneva. Most of them have a good chance of survival, but about half of the premature babies later develop neuropsychological disorders, learning difficulties, attention and emotional disorders.
“At the time of their birth, these babies have an underdeveloped brain. Brain development should therefore continue in the intensive care unit incubator, under very different conditions than in the womb. Hüppi, professor at the University of Geneva, head of research.
The starting point for Geneva researchers was to enrich the environment around the neonates, with some stimuli and partly with stress. Since the hearing system develops early, listening to music has been found to be a good solution.
“It was important for this musical stimulus to be related to the baby’s condition, to accompany the music with their awakening, to sleep, and to be influenced by the music,” said, a science-advocacy newsletter from Lara Lordier.
Geneva researchers worked with composer Andreas Vollenweider, who has been dealing with vulnerable people. To choose the most suitable instruments, Vollennweider played various instruments for babies. Most of the reactions were triggered by the punji used by the Indian snakeskin enthusiasts. The very excited children reassured him almost immediately, their attention was directed to music. The composer wrote three eight-minute pieces of music for punja, harp and bells.
In the study of the brain development of the young, the control group consisted of non-musical premature babies and newborns who came to the world for nine months. Functional MRI tests were performed for all groups.
Earlyborns who did not listen to music had a worse connection between the brain areas than those born for nine months, which is characteristic of the underdeveloped brain. The neural networks of premature babies listening to music, however, developed well.
The first children involved in the study are six years old, and cognitive problems become apparent at this age. Researchers are now engaging them in a complete cognitive, emotional, social survey, and observe whether the positive results that were measured in the first few weeks of the little ones can be justified.

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