Highlighted Article – Insights in Developmental Coordination Disorder Marie – Current Pediatric Reviews

CPR-Articles_13-4-M`hamed Bentourkia

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Language learning starts before birth

Parents are usually careful to watch their language around young children. Maybe parents-to-be ought to watch what they say, too. Not only do babies slurp up language skills in the first few years of life, but new research also suggests that this precocious language learning starts in the womb.

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In the later months of pregnancy, fetuses can detect and remember songs, native vowel sounds and entire words. These surprisingly sophisticated linguistic feats offer a new perspective on early learning. The results also raise the possibility of taking steps during pregnancy to help babies at risk for language problems.

Toward the end of pregnancy, sounds from the outside world can seep into a developing fetus’s brain. Young babies show a clear preference for the sounds of their mothers’ voices, familiar nursery rhymes and soothing lullabies, for instance. Four months after birth, babies who had heard “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” while in the womb remembered and recognized the lullaby, cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen of the University of Helsinki and colleagues reported October 30 in PLOS ONE. The music doesn’t need to be baby-friendly, either. An earlier study found that babies born to mothers who had been hooked on a soap opera during pregnancy stopped fussing when the theme song started.

The findings extend the boundaries of what and when fetuses can learn. “We just don’t know the limits,” says psychologist Christine Moon of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., who coauthored one of the new studies.

Moon and her colleagues found that fetuses learn to discern native vowel sounds from foreign ones. To catch babies before they had time to familiarize themselves with the outside world, the scientists studied Swedish and U.S. babies seven to 75 hours after birth. These newborns were hooked up to special pacifiers that detected sucking rates. The more sucking, the more unusual a sound was, the researchers reasoned.

Babies sucked more for foreign vowel sounds, Moon and her team reported in Acta Pædiatrica (SN: 2/9/13, p. 9), showing that the babies had grown familiar with native vowels while in the womb.

Fetal learning doesn’t stop at vowels. Fetuses grew familiar with an entire made-up word, Partanen and colleagues reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (SN: 10/5/13, p. 15). In the last trimester, pregnant women blasted a recording of a researcher saying a fake word. Testing the babies’ brain responses with electrodes soon after birth, a neural signature of familiarity called the mismatch response showed up in those who had heard the word during gestation. These babies’ brains showed a big neural response when a syllable in the fake word was pronounced differently, suggesting that the normal version was familiar.

Such knowledge about fetal learning could one day lead to specially designed audio tracks that could boost language skills in fetuses at risk for language impairments such as dyslexia. Carefully crafted auditory cues played during pregnancy might stimulate the growing brain in a way that aids language skills.

The new work also draws attention to the importance of the acoustical environment for a fetus. Because the fetal brain is sensitive to sounds, constant exposure to a noisy environment might be problematic. Loud, unstructured noise could mask this early language acquisition and interfere with normal brain development.

 

[Source: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/year-review-language-learning-starts-birth]

3 Breakthrough Developments in the Modern Medicine

Advances in the field of technology and medicine and breakthrough developments are being made every day. Diagnoses are expected to become more accurate than ever. Below are some of the examples of such medical breakthrough that can change the lives of millions.

1.            Human Organs created by stem cell

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Transplant of body organs are becoming difficult with the passing time, while some of them are extremely difficult to obtain causing more deaths. Today, there is technology that can create organs and body parts from the patient’s stem cells, increasing the chances of survival and decreasing the chances of rejection.  Kidneys are already being prepared with the help of stem cells. This is one of the greatest aspects of the future of regenerative medicine.

2.            Fast DNA diagnoses for Newborn

Newborns that are admitted to neonatal intensive care units suffer from genetic abnormalities inherited from their parents. DNA based testing if delivered swiftly can help the doctors interpret the newborn genome and the disease that they are liable to suffer.  Time is imperative for such newborns, while DNA testing takes a lot of time. The precarious situation of the newborns can be dealt with in an efficient manner if the results of DNA testing are given to the doctors as soon as possible. Initially it took a lot of time in interpreting these results, but thanks to the latest technology results can be delivered in only 50 hours.

3.            Reversing Autism

According to Autismspeaks.org, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

Early Start Denver Model claims to have helpedImage children suffering from autism can actually reverse the condition. It can actually work in the direction of normalizing the brain function. It already has shown 2 kids showing positive effects. This development has a significant chance of success.

[Borrowed from:

http://www.famousscientists.org/top-medical-breakthroughs-that-will-change-the-face-of-modern-medicine/]