Unborn babies have memories, study says

Unborn children have memories, according to a new study from the Netherlands.

Researchers at two medical centers found unborn babies at 30 weeks gestation show short-term memory, according to The Washington Times. By the time the unborn children reach 34 weeks of development, they “are able to store information and retrieve it four weeks later,” The Times reported.

The results were based on a study conducted on 100 women and their unborn children. Scientists gave the women a series of buzzes on their stomachs for one second each with a “fetal vibroacoustic stimulator” at five points during the final eight weeks of pregnancy, according to the July 16 report. They used ultrasound imaging to measure “fetal learning” patterns, particularly through the baby’s eye, mouth and body movements.

The children adjusted to the vibrations and sounds to the extent they would no longer respond, according to the report. That process is called “habituation.”

“It seems like every day we find out marvelous new things about the development of unborn children,” said Randall O’Bannon, director of education and research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund, The Times reported. “We hope that this latest information helps people realize more clearly that the unborn are members of the human family with amazing capabilities and capacities like these built in from the moment of conception.”

Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode. Copyright 2009, SBC, Baptist Press, www.BPNews.net.

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