of your baby's brain's temporal lobes or temporal lobes is on the sides of the head under the temples. He controls his hearing and some aspects of his language, his sense of smell, his memory and his emotions, especially fear.
Just a few minutes after birth, your baby will be startled by loud noises and cry aloud (Farrell and Sittlington 2009, Sheridan 2008). That's because his hearing is already well developed. The inner ear is actually the only sensory organ that is fully formed before birth. It reaches its adult size in mid-pregnancy (Blackburn 2007).
Your baby's sense of smell also develops early in life (Blackburn 2007). Newborns have a preference for the smell of breastmilk (Farrell and Sittlington 2009) and may turn in the direction of that odor (Varendi and Porter 2001).
Studies have shown that newborn babies also show reactions to strong odors such as garlic, vinegar and licorice (Kellman and Arterberry 2000).
Later, your baby will use his temporal lobe when listening to music. Because this part of the brain helps him to differentiate sounds. And a little later, the temporal lobe becomes important when your baby hears you talking. In the upper part of the temporal lobe, the meaning of words is processed.
Another feature of the temporal lobe is to store reminders for your baby. The right side processes pictorial memories and the left linguistic memories (Dubuc 2009).
sourcesBlackburn ST. 2007. Maternal, fetal and neonatal physiology: a clinical perspective. 3rd Ed. Edinburgh: Elsevier Science
Dubuc B. 2009. The Brain from top to bottom. Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canadian Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction
Farrell P, Sittlington N. 2009. The normal baby. In Fraser DM, Cooper MA. eds. Myles textbook for midwives. 15th ed Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 763-83
Kellman PJ, Arterberry ME. 2000. The cradle of knowledge: development of perception in infancy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Sheridan M. 2008. From birth to five years: children's developmental progress. London: Routledge
Varendi H, Porter RH. 2001. Breast odour as the only maternal stimulus elicits crawling towards the odor source. Acta Paediatrica 90: 372-5
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