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A New Way To Help Babies Learn Language: Study

Improving Language Skills Before Babies Can Talk
While a baby's first words aren't typically spoken until around 12 months of age, new research from Rutgers University shows that through specific auditory training, a baby's brain development can be sped up to improve overall language acquisition and processing.

The research, which was published in Journal of Neuroscience earlier this week, states:

 "The researchers found that when 4-month-old babies learned to pay attention to increasingly complex non-language audio patterns and were rewarded for correctly shifting their eyes to a video reward when the sound changed slightly, their brain scans at 7 months old showed they were faster and more accurate at detecting other sounds important to language than babies who had not been exposed to the sound patterns."

"If you shape something while the baby is actually building it," April Benasich, director of the Infancy Studies Laboratory at the University's Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience said in a news release, "it allows each infant to build the best possible auditory network for his or her particular brain. This provides a stronger foundation for any language (or languages) the infant will be learning."

While this research has not been carried out long-term, the team that worked on the experiment plans to continue it until the babies that were initially involved reach 18 months old.

Your baby's brain is a sponge, ready to soak up and learn about all of the sensory stimuli around him. Follow these tips to help him learn to talk.

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Photo of baby courtesy of Shutterstock.