Talking to your baby or child is essential for helping her understand the world around her, building her vocabulary, and bonding with you, and a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found that a mother’s voice literally has an electric effect on her child’s brain! Lighting up areas of the brain including auditory, emotion, reward processing, social functioning, and facial recognition, hearing the sound of a mother’s voice creates a lightening quick connection: 97% of the children who were studied were able to identify their mother’s voice using audio clips of nonsense words that were less than one second long. The study also showed that the children’s brains were more engaged by hearing their mother’s voice than that of a stranger’s, and that the strength of this connection predicted how well the child was able to communicate socially. The scientists plan to continue this area of research through conducting similar studies on children with autism as well as adolescents to understand “whether brain responses change as people mature into adults.” So even if it sometimes feels like kids simply tune out what we are saying (such as “It’s time to go home” or “Can you feed the cat that you begged us to get?”), know that you are forging a powerful connection with your children on a primal level when you speak.

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via CNN and Stanford Medicine News Center

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