Hospital Noise and Babies’ Brains: Evidence from Premature Newborns

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Marshall Ballroom South (Marriott Wardman Park)
Amir Lahav, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Our first auditory experiences greatly influence the developing brain. Studies in premature infants suggest that the brain is better shaped by mother’s voice than by environmental noise present in the intensive care unit, which deviates from the womb-like sounds heard by typically developing full-term newborns. Resulting abilities to tune out noise and acquire language effectively may be impaired, increasing the risk for auditory, language, and attention disorders.