Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Babies Are Born to Bop, Boogie, and Groove

DiscoblogBy Darlene CavalierMarch 16, 2010 11:08 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Research published yesterday in the online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests babies are born to boogie. Researchers exposed 120 infants to a variety of music and recorded their reactions on video, using 3D motion capture technology. The parents holding their infants were given headphones to wear so they wouldn't influence the babies' behaviors by, say, tapping toes or bopping to the beat. The results showed that infants react with rhythmic movement to music more than they do to speech, and that infants do indeed have rhythm (as the tempo was accelerated, the babies' movements quickened). Finally, the researchers found that the better the rhythm, the happier the jammin' baby; the better the babies were able to synch their movements with the music, the more they smiled. Wrote the researchers:

The findings are suggestive of a predisposition for rhythmic movement in response to music and other metrically regular sounds.

Something this baby's been trying to tell us for more than a year now: Related Content: 80beats: Watching YouTube Videos of Dancing Birds for the Sake of Science

80beats: Playing a Duet, Guitarists’ Brains Find the Same Grooves

80beats: Even Newborn Infants Can Feel the Beat

Discoblog: So You Think You Can Dance: Spider Edition

Video: CGElliott09

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In