Kuala Lampur: Unborn babies in the womb recognises and react to their mother`s voice and also pay attention when mum`s read a story, a new study has revealed.
During the study, lead by author Kristin Voegtline from Johns Hopkins University, researchers asked 74 women, who were 36 weeks pregnant, to read for two minutes while their babies` heart rate and movements were monitored.
It was found that the heart rate of babies lowered and movement stopped when their mother started reading aloud to them, the Herald Sun reported.
Voegtline said that the foetuses of some women, who were napping prior to asking them to read aloud from a passage, showed a brief startle to start of maternal voice.
The author said that the near-term foetus has a mature auditory system that reliably detects and responds to sound.
The study concluded that a mother`s voice shapes auditory learning in utero with implications for postnatal recognition of, and preference for, the maternal voice.
The research was published in Infant Behaviour and Development journal.