The flute of Indian snake charmers playing for premature babies in intensive care helps them to develop outside the womb & # 39;
- Researchers from the University of Geneva tested their theory in a hospital
- Newborns were played music from a punji snake, a harp or bells
- Babies who played music had stronger nerve connections across their brains
- Their brains were more like healthy babies than those who didn't hear music
According to the scientists, playing the flute of an Indian snake charmer for a prematurely born baby can help his brain develop well.
Babies born weeks before their due date run the risk of serious brain damage, leaving them behind when they get older.
According to scientists, one of the reasons for this is that they must be kept in intensive care and be divorced immediately after birth.
But playing music for premature babies can help the connections in their brains look more like those of a healthy baby, helping them understand what is happening around them.
And the punji – a traditional Indian instrument that looks like a Scottish bagpipe – turned out to have the strongest effect.
Premature babies played on music – especially those from the Indian snake charmer's whistle, the punji (photo) – were found to have a brain development that looked more like a full-grown baby than other premature babies who did not listen to music (stock image)
Researchers from the University of Geneva in Switzerland tested their theory by playing music for premature babies and then comparing them with premature babies who had not heard music and babies who had a full-term pregnancy were born.
They used MRI brain scans to see if there were differences in the brain and that babies in the music group were better developed.
Their brains looked more like healthy full-term babies, compared to premature babies who didn't play any music.
& # 39; The instrument that caused the most reactions was the whistle of the Indian snake charmers, the punji & # 39 ;, said Lara Lordier, a PhD student at the Geneva University Hospital.
& # 39; Very excited children calmed almost immediately, their attention was drawn to the music. & # 39;
Three types of music were tested on the baby & # 39; s songs played with the punji, a harp or with bubbles.
HOW CAN MUSIC HELP PREVIOUS BABY & # 39; S?
Researchers from Geneva found that playing music for premature babies while in intensive care strengthens nerve connections between different parts of the brain.
The salience network, which helps someone gain insight into what they see and hear, was the most affected.
Scientists in New York, at Beth Israel Hospital, published research in 2013 that showed that music could improve the premature functioning of the baby and lung function.
They found that playing slow, soothing music slowed the heartbeat of stressed babies and increased the amount of oxygen in their blood.
It also improved the ability of babies & # 39; s to suck and made sure they could feed better.
A scientist suggested certain types of music – especially those made to sound like lullabies – could improve the development of premature babies because it sounds like what they would hear in the womb.
Babies who had not played any music had weaker connections between different parts of the brain, the scientists discovered – an effect of their premature birth.
These connections were most affected in the saline network of the brain, which absorbs information and experiences and tries to understand it.
& # 39; This network is essential both for learning and performing cognitive tasks and for social relationships or emotional management & # 39 ;, said Ms. Lordier.
In the UK, around 60,000 babies & # 39; s are born prematurely each year – this is about one in 13 pregnancies ending before the 37th week.
While babies born at full-time age spend time with their mothers and learn how to respond to different things by learning from her, premature babies can't.
Instead, they should only be held in a room full of strange sounds and images without knowing how to respond, the researchers suggested.
The work of Swiss researchers was published in The Proceedings magazine of the National Academy of Science.
Past research has found that playing music for premature babies can slow their heartbeat if they get stressed and can help them breathe easily.
Scientists at Beth Israel Hospital in New York tested the effects of music on 272 prematurely born babies and published their research in 2013.
They found that playing slow, soothing music also improved the ability of babies to feed as well as improving breathing and blood circulation.
One of the researchers at the time said that music could mimic sounds that babies & # 39; s hear in the womb, making them feel more comfortable.
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