Talking to babies can boost their brain power, a study has revealed.
Months before babies start to speak, words play an important role in their brain development. Even at the age of three months, words have a bigger impact on their minds than other sounds, including music. The research showed that babies who heard words were better able to ' categorise' pictures than those who simply heard tones.
Almost 50 three-month-old boys and girls were shown a series of pictures of fish, accompanied by either words or beeps. The babies were then shown pictures of a fish and one of a dinosaur side by side and the researchers measured how long they looked at each image. Looking at the fish longer than the dinosaur demonstrated they had categorised the fish in their minds, the journal Child Development reports.
The researchers said the results were 'striking'. The babies in the word and tone groups saw exactly the same pictures for exactly the same amount of time, but only those in the word group looked at the fish for longer.