Babies Got Rhythm

| 1/29/2009 6:20:02 AM


Babies can follow a beat just days after birth, and they can notice when a rhythm pattern is disrupted, according to study results presented by Discover. Some scientists believe the ability to recognize steady rhythms, called beat induction, could be unique to humans. Some, including the study’s authors, also think it’s innate. Lead researcher Istvan Winkler suggests that a sense of rhythm helps newborns process and respond to repetitive baby talk, paving the way for language acquisition. If he’s right, our affinity for music may be a happy evolutionary accident, a byproduct of other essential learning processes.

Image by Kamal Aboul-Hosn, licensed under Creative Commons.


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