Ayşe Kevser Yetkin1, Berzah Güneş2, Oytun Erbaş2

1Technical University of Darmstadt, Faculty of Social Science, Institute of Sociology, Darmstadt, Germany
2ERBAS Institute of Experimental Medicine, Illinois, USA & Gebze, Türkiye

Keywords: Auditory processing, auditory stimuli, fetal hearing, intrauterine auditory experience, postnatal sound exposure, prenatal acoustic environment


Around the 27th week of pregnancy, the fetus begins to hear, initiating a complex auditory development process. The prenatal auditory environment involves internal and external sounds that shape the fetus's experience. Internally, sounds like the mother's heartbeat, breathing, and digestion create a complex auditory environment. Externally, the fetus perceives sounds such as the mother's voice, environmental noises, and music, with lower frequencies being better transmitted. Fetal responses to sounds are evidenced by physiological changes like heart rate variations and movements. Prenatal and postnatal sound exposure significantly impact auditory development. Loud sounds during pregnancy can strain the auditory system and potentially lead to hearing issues. Maintaining a low-noise environment in neonatal intensive care units is crucial for healthy hearing development in premature infants. Prenatal experiences greatly influence sensory, linguistic, and musical development. Developmental biology plays a vital role in auditory advancement. The prenatal environment and genetics impact deoxyribonucleic acid methylation, an epigenetic mechanism governing gene expression. Auditory structures and brain regions mature during pregnancy and infancy, with peripheral activities aiding subcortical circuits and functional maturation. Restricted fetal growth might lead to delayed auditory brain responses, serving as potential markers for developmental disorders. This review emphasizes the critical importance of detecting and processing auditory stimuli throughout human development, particularly prenatal.

Cite this article as: Yetkin AK, Güneş B, Erbaş O. Prenatal Auditory Stimulation and Its Significance for Newborns. JEB Med Sci 2023;4(2):96-103.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.