Musical pieces composed especially for them seemed to stimulate the development of the brain of very premature babies, according to a study carried out in Switzerland.
While advances in technology have greatly increased the chances of survival for babies born before 32 weeks of gestation, they remain at high risk of developing neuropsychological problems, including learning disabilities or problems with concentration or emotional management. .
Researchers from the University of Geneva and the University Hospitals of Geneva wanted to know what effect they would have on the development of their brains of musical pieces composed specifically for them.
Their findings are striking: the neural networks of babies exposed to this music have developed better, especially a network involved in several cognitive and sensory functions.
“It does not surprise me that an intervention where there is a music that is still adapted for their senses, so something non-aggressive, which is still calming, can stimulate the development of their brains, said the pediatrician. Thuy Mai Luu, CHU Sainte-Justine. It’s not a surprise, but it’s fun that they can prove it. ”
In the hospital, premature infants are sometimes plunged into an environment that is aggressive for them, be it ringing monitors, slamming doors or alarms that sound. Swiss researchers said in a statement that “the immaturity of the brain, combined with a disturbing sensory environment, explains why neural networks do not develop normally”.
But the opposite is also true, warns Dr. Luu: with modern technology, when the baby is placed in an isolated incubator in a room, he finds himself plunged into total silence.
“So it’s either we have an environment with too many stimulations that are too aggressive […] for senses that are still immature, or on the contrary we have no stimulation,” she said. . Recent studies have found that language development may not necessarily be better. ”