The Faculty of Behavioural Sciences at University of Helsinki organized on Tuesday, 16th of January an event in which Docent Minna Huotilainen and Professor Katri Räikkönen-Talvitie were discussing the theme "Life before birth". The lectures inspired the audience to present numerous questions, leading into a lively discussion chaired by Professor Kirsti Lonka.
Huotilainen was describing the results of brain research, e.g.,on the early auditory skills. During the last three months before the birth the unborn child learns many kinds of things through what she hears. For example, a newly born baby clearly prefers music
that she has heard, whether rock or classical. Huotilainen has coined the term "audio home" referring to the sound context that the baby already learns to appreciate before the birth.
Räikkönen-Talvitie discussed how weight at birth may matter in psychological life-span development. She was describing evidence on how low weight at birth correlates with development of psychological factors, such as depression, that may later lead into acquiring chronical deseases. She was also showing results on the effects of contextual factors such as parental optimism.