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Babies Can Learn Music in Utero, Study Suggests

Babies who are exposed to melodies while still in the womb may be able to learn it--and to recognize it when they hear it after they've been born, according to a new Finnish study published in the journal PLOS One.  More from The New York Times:

For the study, published online last week by PLOS One, Finnish researchers divided 24 pregnant women into two groups. Five times a week, the "learning group" played a CD that included a one-minute rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," which the unborn children heard an average of 170 times before birth. The control group did not hear the recording.

Then the scientists did EEG tests on the children at birth and again at 4 months as they listened to the original tune and a version in which several notes were altered.

The learning group had a larger response to the melody than the control group did, and the difference was still apparent at 4 months. And the amplitude of response to the changed melody correlated with the number of times the infants were exposed to the original melody in utero.

Image: Pregnant woman with music, via Shutterstock