Newborns Learn in Their Sleep

Dozing babes better 'data sponges' than adults
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2010 5:05 AM CDT
This baby is doing more than just sleeping, new research suggests.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Babies start absorbing information about the world around them as soon as they're out of the womb and they do so even in their sleep, according to new research. Scientists played a tune to 26 sleeping newborns and followed it up with a puff of air to the eyelids. Most of the sleeping babies quickly learned to squeeze their eyes shut tighter when they heard the music, the Telegraph reports. Their brain waves also changed during the experiment.

Was this finding worth bothering those sleeping babies for? Absolutely, the researchers say. The research may help scientists better understand the causes of sudden infant death syndrome and help identify infants at risk of disorders, including autism and dyslexia, the lead researcher, a Columbia University psychologist, tells MedPage Today.

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