When a baby manages to gurgle out its first word, everyone tends to go wild.
Researchers at the University of Kansas studied 24 women who averaged about eight months pregnant with a fetal biomagnetometer, which captures electrical currents in both the mother and fetus using non-invasive technology.
The researchers played a Japanese and an English recording, using the same bilingual speaker, and found that the unborn babies' heart rates changed when listening to the unfamiliar Japanese recording.
The findings are in tandem with the idea that the auditory cortex is developed for fetuses with the use of language.
"Prenatal sensitivity to the rhythmic properties of language may provide children with one of the very first building blocks in acquiring language," Utako Minai, one of the researchers, said in a statement.
Apparently, babies can actually hear the outside world while in the womb, it just sounds more muffled.
However, this research doesn't mean that watching foreign films while pregnant will birth a bilingual baby. But introducing a young child to another language can also be beneficial to their brain, according to The Seattle Times.
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