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The 100 billion brain cells we are born with have a lot to get right in the first few months of life.
Imagine each individual in a population 15 times that of the planet earth all migrating to a specific location to make proper connections and communicate with others in a way that makes sense for the population as a whole.
About once a day a baby is born in Los Alamos and although his brain has these amazing 100 billion neurons formed and in place, the way they connect and develop is influenced by their experience with adults and their environment.
Most babies learn language from hearing it, so talking to your newborn is the key. Even before birth, a baby hears and knows the rhythms and tones of his mother’s voice.
As a newborn, he is especially sensitive to the sound of human speech and becomes very interested in the basic speech sounds of language.
At birth babies can perceive many more speech sounds than adults do; too many, in fact. The more we talk to our infants the better they become at focusing only on the sounds of our native language, so that the experience of hearing speech sounds strengthens some specific neural pathways and not others.
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