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Mother’s Voice

May 17, 2016

Brain scans reveal the power of a mother’s voice on her child.



A window into early social development. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A child’s brain reacts differently to his or her mom’s voice than to the voice of someone else’s mom. This according to Stanford researcher Daniel Abrams and his colleagues, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He says stranger’s voices stimulated primarily a child’s sound-processing centers, while mom’s voice triggered a range of brain regions.

DANIEL ABRAMS (Stanford University):

Brain systems associated with reward processing, and the processing of emotional information, and we even saw activation of face-processing, even though the children didn’t see any faces during the experiment.


Furthermore, children with the strongest response to their mom’s voice had the best social skills, as determined by a standardized test. Abrams says the work could help researchers study and better understand children’s social development.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.