Dutch researchers say unborn children may have their short-term memory formed at 30 weeks into the pregnancy. Dr. Jan G. Nijhuis, director of the Centre for Genetics, Reproduction and Child Health at Maastricht University Medical Centre in Holland, conducted the research.From the article in LifeNews:
He [Nijhuis] and his team published their findings in the July/August issue of Child Development.
“This is the next step into a better insight in the development of the fetal central nervous system,” he told HealthDailyNews. “We aim to develop an ‘intra-uterine neurologic examination,’ which could then be used in fetuses at risk.”
In the research, the Netherlands scientists surveyed 93 pregnant women and they measured the responses from unborn children to repeated “vibroacoustic” stimulation.
“We used a vibroacoustic stimulator, which leads to a combined stimulus of vibration and sound,” Nijhuis told HDN. “The stimuli were applied to the maternal abdomen above the fetal legs for a period of one second every 30 seconds. We counted the number of stimuli after which the fetus does not respond anymore.”
When the unborn baby no longer responds to the audio stimulus, the child is referred to as “habituated” — in other words, they consider the sounds safe.
Researchers consider that a form of learning, where unborn children are aware of potential danger and recognize the sounds as something that will not harm them.
Dr. Richard O. Jones, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, responded to the study.
“I’m almost certain the baby heard it quite clearly and it was probably pretty loud,” he said.
“I almost wish I could do an ultrasound looking at the baby while they were making these loud noises. I would not be at all surprised to see the baby putting its hands over its ears,” he added.
Steven Ertelt “Unborn Children May Already Have Short-Term Memory Formed at 30 Weeks” LifeNews July 15, 2009Share on Facebook