Learning in the
Several studies suggest that children can learn while
they are still in the womb. For example, newborns prefer
the sound of their own mother's voice. In one experiment,
they learned to change their pattern of sucking in order
to activate a recording of their mother's voice instead
of that of another woman. The preference appears to
have been acquired before birth.
In another case, newborns preferred the sound of their
mother's voice when it was adjusted to resemble what
they might have heard in the womb.
In an even more amazing study, newborns stopped crying
and responded to songs played on shows that their mothers
watched while they were pregnant.
Prenatal learning seems to extend to the sense of taste
as well. Mothers who maintained the same diet before
and after they gave birth were more successful in breastfeeding
than mothers who changed to a less spicy diet. This
may reflect the child's preference for food the mother
ate while she was pregnant because the mother's milk
contains clues about her diet.