Auditory Neuroscience

Sounds heard by unborn babies in utero

This extract of a You Tube video entitled "Life in the Womb" describes the types of sound that the human fetus is likely to be exposed to in utero. Human fetuses are known to become sensitive to sound well before birth, but to think that they hear just as grown ups do would be very naive. While experience of the sounds that reach the ears of the fetus, which can originate from inside as well as outside the mother's body, may well influence the development of the auditory pathways, the brain of unborn babies, and even neonates, is very immature in many respects. Consequently, developmental changes are observed in most auditory perceptual abilities, with adult function sometimes taking several years to be attained.