That Unborn Babies Can Recognize Words Before Birth Proof of Their Humanity


I reject personhood theory that requires an organism to have certain conscious capacities to attain moral value. I believe that being human is the primary question.

But what are personhood theorists to make of a new study demonstrating that fetuses hear words in the womb–and what’s more, remember them?

From the AAAS story:

Be careful what you say around a pregnant woman. As a fetus grows inside a mother’s belly, it can hear sounds from the outside world—and can understand them well enough to retain memories of them after birth, according to new research.

Prior studies of babies showed that they seem to recognize familiar sounds, such as television theme songs. But this study is apparently something new:

Babies who had heard the recordings showed the neural signal for recognizing vowel and pitch changes in the pseudoword, and the signal was strongest for the infants whose mothers played the recording most often. They were also better than the control babies at detecting other differences in the syllables, such as vowel length. “This leads us to believe that the fetus can learn much more detailed information than we previously thought,” Partanen says, and that the memory traces are detectable after birth.

Read the rest at LifeNews

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