Noise harder on children than adults, hinders how they learn

Even premature babies are affected (Photo: AP)

From the cacophony of day care to the buzz of TV and electronic toys, noise is more distracting to a child’s brain than an adult’s - and it can hinder how youngsters learn.

Children learn language from hearing it, but new research shows it’s particularly hard for them to listen when other voices are babbling in the background.

Researchers say the ability to process speech amid background noise doesn't mature until adolescence. That's a finding with implications for classroom design.

Even premature babies are affected.

One study finds that they developed better when recordings of a mum’s voice were piped inside incubators to counter the white noise of the machines’ fan.

The research is being presented at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50
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