Document Detail

Auditory brain development in premature infants: the importance of early experience.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22524335     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) often close their eyes in response to bright lights, but they cannot close their ears in response to loud sounds. The sudden transition from the womb to the overly noisy world of the NICU increases the vulnerability of these high-risk newborns. There is a growing concern that the excess noise typically experienced by NICU infants disrupts their growth and development, putting them at risk for hearing, language, and cognitive disabilities. Preterm neonates are especially sensitive to noise because their auditory system is at a critical period of neurodevelopment, and they are no longer shielded by maternal tissue. This paper discusses the developmental milestones of the auditory system and suggests ways to enhance the quality control and type of sounds delivered to NICU infants. We argue that positive auditory experience is essential for early brain maturation and may be a contributing factor for healthy neurodevelopment. Further research is needed to optimize the hospital environment for preterm newborns and to increase their potential to develop into healthy children.
Erin McMahon; Pia Wintermark; Amir Lahav
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences     Volume:  1252     ISSN:  1749-6632     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-04-24     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7506858     Medline TA:  Ann N Y Acad Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  17-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.
Department of Newborn Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Division of Newborn Medicine, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Department of Pediatrics, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
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