Some days it may feel like they never listen to you, but a new study proves that children are more engaged and have a very strong response when they hear mom’s voice. Researchers found that when kids hear their mom’s voice, many areas of the brain light up beyond just auditory parts and much more than when they hear the voice of a stranger.
CNN reports about the study from Stanford University School of Medicine that looked at how kids ages 7 - 12 responded when hearing their mom’s voice. Lead author of the study Daniel Abrams explains why many areas of the brain light up when mom is talking like the areas related to emotion, reward processing, facial recognition and social functioning. Abrams says, “Many of our social, language and emotional processes are learned by listening to our mom's voice. But surprisingly little is known about how the brain organizes itself around this very important sound source. We didn't realize that a mother's voice would have such quick access to so many different brain systems.”
The children involved in the study were given MRI scans of their brain while they listened to short clips of their mom and strangers saying nonsense words. Amazingly, kids could identify their mom’s voice with 97% accuracy even when some of the clips were less than a second long. Researchers were taken aback by the scientific evidence showing just how much children respond to their mom’s voice. Abrams explains, “We know that hearing mother's voice can be an important source of emotional comfort to children. Here, we're showing the biological circuitry underlying that.”
What do you think of the study that suggests children are more engaged when they hear mom’s voice?