How do you know what your baby wants when he cries? He is hungry? Thirsty? Cold? Warm? Wrong Because yes, the crying is the only way for the baby to communicate with those around him. Thanks to these innate vocal signals, the baby informs its sensory, emotional or physical state when it feels soft. Despite this essential role, information carried by crying and its treatment in the adult brain is not known.
Assess the ability of adults to distinguish crying
A neuroimaging study (fMRI) is underway on the subject at the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, where more than 3,000 children are born each year. A team of physicians, researchers and acoustics are studying the perception of painful pleura in infants in adults. 80 male and female volunteers, parents and non-parents were recruited. All had an MRI while the natural crying, but the acoustic variables were controlled, they were transmitted.
"The goal is to assess the ability of adults to distinguish the crying associated with childhood pain," says CHU. To do so, the researchers analyzed the neuronal responses induced by hearing the crying recorded in two situations of stress for the child (one not painful during the bath, painful during vaccination).
Adjusting child's therapies
"We have a lot to learn from this understanding of child crying that has not been integrated into child care," explains Professor Hugues Patural, head of CHU's Department of Pediatric and Neonatal Resuscitation, in a documentary. of Saint-Etienne, we could probably adjust our therapy. " "There is a message that is transmitted" to parents' brains when the baby cries, explains Professor Roland Peyron of the Department of Neurology and the Pain Center at the North University Hospital in Saint-Etienne. Our question today is to know in which region of the brain this painful message is analyzed. "
The first results of the study disturb some prejudices: the most acute cries are not emitted by the girls and the men are very good at recognizing a cry of pain. A synthesis of the first data is in progress. Patience.
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