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Child Development: First and Last Syllables Encoded Better From Birth On

dev science[Source:  Science Daily]

The cognitive system encodes the first and last syllables of words better than middle syllables. Researchers at SISSA, in collaboration with Udine Hospital (Azienda Ospedaliera di Udine), have demonstrated for the first time that this cognitive mechanism is present from birth. The study was published in the scientific review Developmental Science.

Most of us think of infants as tiny beings whose main business is to sleep, suck and cry, without much awareness of what is happening around them. It may come as somewhat of a surprise, then, to know that newborn brains are full of feverish activity and that they are already gathering and processing important information from the world around them. At just two days after birth, babies are already able to process language using processes similar to those of adults. SISSA researchers have demonstrated that they are sensitive to the most important parts of words, the edges, a cognitive mechanism which has been repeatedly observed in older children and adults.
It is well-known that, in general, people better remember the edges of sequences and particularly in language, when we must remember and recognize words, the brain gives greater weight to information at the beginning and the end of the word. Languages around the world seem to capitalize on this better encoding at the edges. “The syllables at the
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