Newborns Already Know How To Rock Out

Posted by AJ Harbison at 5:49 pm

I saw a headline on MSN.com this morning entitled “Babies born ready to rock out, study says”–so naturally I was intrigued and had to check it out. Apparently this study has found that even newborn brains can properly interpret musical rhythmic patterns, and if an expectation is not met (such as a strong downbeat being omitted from the pattern) the baby’s brain registers an “error message” that attempts to gauge how far off its expectation was. Pretty interesting stuff!

“Let’s rock! Even newborns can follow a rhythm”

P.S. I’ve decided to add a new label to my existing list of 14–posts like this that I find through news sources will now carry a “News” label in addition to whatever else they may be about. Just thought you’d like to know.

UPDATE: My friend Stephen brought to my attention an article on the same topic on Wired, which is a much more detailed article and even includes an MP3 sample of the beat that the babies heard. Check it out:

“Baby Got Beat: Music May Be Inborn”



  1. Gravatar

    Idhrendur on 01.29.2009

    I saw an article on Wired yeterday about the same: http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/01/babybeats.html

    What I find interesting is that the Wired article seems to reflect a differing viewpoint. Namely, that this study implies language and musical rhythm have different roots and purposes.

  2. Gravatar

    AJ Harbison on 01.29.2009

    Thanks for the Wired article, Stephen! I hadn’t run across that one, but it was actually much more detailed. I’d recommend it to my readers more highly than the MSN article. Thanks for sharing!

    AJ Harbison

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