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Pediatr Res. 2019 Jul 2. doi: 10.1038/s41390-019-0490-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Early vocal contact and music in the NICU: new insights into preventive interventions.

Author information

1
Department of Women, Infants and Adolescents, Division of Development and Growth, University Children Hospital, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. manuela.filippa@unige.ch.
2
University of Valle d'Aosta, Aosta, Italy. manuela.filippa@unige.ch.
3
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, and Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. manuela.filippa@unige.ch.
4
Department of Women, Infants and Adolescents, Division of Development and Growth, University Children Hospital, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
5
University of Valle d'Aosta, Aosta, Italy.
6
Laboratory of Cognitive Neurorehabilitation, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Neurorehabilitation, University Hospital of Geneva and University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
7
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, and Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
8
Service de Médecine et réanimation du nouveau-né, Hôpital de Hautepierre, CHU Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.

Abstract

It is now clearly established that the environment and the sensory stimuli, particularly during the perinatal period, have an impact on infant's development. During the last trimester of gestation, activity-dependent plasticity shapes the fetal brain, and prematurity has been shown to alter the typical developmental trajectories. In this delicate period, preventive interventions aiming at modulating these developmental trajectories through activity-inducing interventions are currently underway to be tested. The purpose of this review paper is to describe the potentialities of early vocal contact and music on the preterm infant's brain development, and their potential beneficial effect on early development. Scientific evidence supports a behavioral orientation of the newborn to organized sounds, such as those of voice and music, and recent neuroimaging studies further confirm full cerebral processing of music as multisensory stimuli. However, the impact of long-term effects of music exposure and early vocal contact on preterm infants' long-term neurodevelopment needs be further investigated. To conclude, it is necessary to establish the neuroscientific bases of the early perception and the long-term effects of music and early vocal contact on the premature newborns' development. Scientific projects are currently on the way to fill this gap in knowledge.

PMID:
31266053
DOI:
10.1038/s41390-019-0490-9

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