Science

Babies Create A Mental Map Of Their Bodies Before Being Born

It is known by many people that pregnant women feel kicks when they are carrying their babies in the womb. These kicks might be uncomfortable for the mother, but they truly help the development of the unborn child. Research suggests that this kicking helps the baby map out its brain and build information rapidly. These kicks, known as fetal developments, empower an infant to build an essential brain network with the goal of comprehending what part of the body is moving and how it is being contacted. This early mental mapping only lasts until the baby is born. Movements done outside of the womb no longer have the same effects on the brain that they used to.

Using noninvasive electroencephalography, researchers from University College London measured brain waves as infants slept, focusing on the times the newborns kicked during REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep. Scientists found evidence of the building of brain networks. For example, when a baby moved its right hand it caused brain waves to fire up immediately in the left hemisphere of the brain. The size of these brain waves was larger in premature babies, who at their age would otherwise still be in the womb, compared to infants born full-term. For the reason being it is suggested by scientists to wrap a premature baby in a way that it can maintain the sense of being in a womb for further development of the infant’s brain network.

It is amazing to see how scientists use manageable techniques to explain what occurs in in a newborn’s brain and behavior interface. The importance of development and interplay between structure and function is stressed throughout. It is hoped that this information will contribute into understanding further relationships in a baby’s brain and behavior during its development. Babies truly are a whole world of their own.

Alessandra Quevedo

Alessandra Quevedo is a 12th grader. She writes science editorials and is a marketing specialist for the Newspaper Team. Her favorite food is cheesecake.

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