A research carried out by the Institute of Neurosciences of Castilla y León (Incyl) has proven how important it is to expose young children to certain sounds to stimulate their hearing sensitivity and facilitate learning.
In the study, which was carried out with mice, they found that an area of brain, called the inferior colliculus, played an important role when developing or maintaining a special sensitivity towards certain auditory stimuli to those who had been exposed to the animals.
Musicians' hypersensitivity to auditory stimuli makes them able to appreciate the difference between two pianos, because they have developed the ability to discriminate sounds since they were small
In the opinion of the researchers, the role played by the inferior colliculus could have significant repercussions on various human activities, such as learning languages that, as has been proven, are simpler and more effective when dealing with young children. In this regard, one of the authors of the study, Manuel Sánchez Malmierca, states that, like the cerebral cortex, the colliculus is also involved in hearing.
The process by which subcortical neurons develop sensitivity to received auditory stimuli is related to the ability of the brain to adapt to different situations, a 'plasticity' that is greater in the first stage of childhood and that goes away losing with age. Thus, when these neurons are stimulated with a specific sound, there is a variation in their habitual attunement. This may explain the hypersensitivity of the musicians, which makes them able to appreciate the difference between two pianos, because they have developed the ability to discriminate sounds since they were small.
In addition to music, it can be applied in practice for language teaching because, as Sánchez Malmierca explains, for a child to learn a foreign language, it is recommended that you watch your favorite children's programs in that other language, for example, English. since it will absorb very easily both vocabulary and grammar, as well as the correct way to pronounce words. This is particularly useful in children from three to eight years old.