The fetus in utero :the ability to hear and react to music

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Feathers, Stephanie
Haney, Kalyn M.
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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It is intriguing to consider to what extent a fetus can hear and react to sounds present in the environment (Gerhardt & Abrams, 2000). According to Armitage and his coworkers, “the auditory experience of the fetal mammal may be considerably more extensive, more varied, and...possibly of greater postnatal significance than has been believed (Childs, 1999, p. 107). The fetus has a spectacular range of senses and lively emotions expressed through interactions and body language (Chamberlain, 2003) and is considerably more sophisticated and sensitive than previously believed (Winter, 1994).

This research explores the ideas of the development of the fetal auditory system, the ability of a fetus to hear in utero, and if a fetus can react to music, whether in a positive or negative manner. The potential positive and negative effects of these stimulations on the fetus in utero and after birth and beneficial interventions are examined. This thesis is a compilation of current research that can provide insight to the many questions that expecting parents often have regarding these topics before, during, and after pregnancy.