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Babies and Intelligence

时间:2005-06-03 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:vipnoble   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)


By George Grow
Broadcast: September 2, 2003
VOICE ONE:
This is Sarah Long.
VOICE TWO:
And this is Bob Doughty1 with SCIENCE IN THE NEWS, a VOA Special English program about recent developments in science. Today, we discuss recent findings about how intelligence develops in babies.
(THEME)
VOICE ONE:
Not long ago, many people believed that babies only wanted food and to be kept warm and dry. Some people thought babies were not able to learn things until they were five or six months old.
Yet doctors in the United States say babies begin learning on their first day of life. The National Institute of Child Health and Development is an American government agency. Its goal is to discover which experiences can influence healthy development in humans.
Research scientists at the institute note that babies are strongly influenced by their environment. They say a baby will smile if her mother does something the baby likes. A baby learns to get the best care possible by smiling to please her mother or other caregiver. This is how babies learn to connect and communicate with other humans.
VOICE TWO:
The American researchers say this ability to learn exists in a baby even before birth. They say newborn babies can recognize and understand sounds they heard while they were still developing inside their mothers.
One study shows that babies can learn before they are born. The researchers placed a tape recorder on the stomach of a pregnant2 woman. Then, they played a recording3 of a short story.
On the day the baby was born, the researchers tested to find out if he knew the sounds of the story repeated while inside his mother. They did this by placing a 1)device in the mouth of the newborn baby.
The baby would hear the story if he moved his mouth one way. If the baby moved his mouth the other way, he would hear a different story. The researchers say the baby clearly liked the story he heard before he was born. They say the baby would move his mouth so he could hear the story again and again.
VOICE ONE:
Researchers in Finland have shown that babies can learn while they are asleep. They demonstrated that newborn babies can learn to identify different spoken sounds while sleeping.
The Finnish researchers divided forty-five newborns into three groups. They used devices to measures the babies' brain activity. The researchers played recordings4 of spoken sounds for up to one hour while the babies slept
After this brief period, the researchers continued to play the recording to one group of babies during the night. The second group heard a different recording. The third group did not hear any recording. The researchers studied each baby's brain activity. Those in the first group could identify the sounds in the morning and again at night. The other babies could not.
The head of the study believes that babies can learn while asleep because the part of their brains called the 2)cerebral5 3)cortex remains6 active at night. The cortex is very important for learning. This part of the brain is not active in adults while they sleep.
(MUSIC)
VOICE TWO:
Many experts say the first years of a child's life are important for all later development. An American study shows how mothers can strongly influence social development and language skills in their children.
The study involved more than one-thousand-two-hundred mothers and children. Researchers studied the children from the age of one month to three years. They observed the mothers playing with their children four times during this period.
VOICE ONE:
The researchers attempted to measure the sensitivity7 of the mothers. The women were considered sensitive if they supported their children's activities and did not interfere8 unnecessarily. They tested the children for thinking and language development when they were three years old. Also, the researchers observed the women for signs of the mental condition called depression.
The children of depressed9 women did not do as well on tests as the children of women who did not suffer from depression. The children of depressed women did poorly on tests of language skills and understanding what they hear.
These children also were less cooperative10 and had more problems dealing11 with other people. The researchers noted12 that the sensitivity of the mothers was important to the general health of their children. Children did better when their mothers were caring, even when the women suffered from depression.
(MUSIC)
VOICE TWO:
Another study suggests that babies who are bigger at birth generally are more intelligent later in life. It found that the intelligence of a child at seven years of age is directly linked to his or her weight at birth. Study organizers say this is probably because heavier babies received more nutrition during important periods of brain development before they were born.
The study involved almost three-thousand-five-hundred children. Researchers in New York City used traditional tests to measure intelligence. Brothers and sisters were tested so that the effects of birth weight alone could be separated from the effects of diet or other considerations.
The researchers found that children with higher birth weights generally did better on the intelligence tests. Also, the link between birth weight and intelligence later in life was stronger for boys than for girls.
VOICE ONE:
Another American study examined the development of very low birth weight babies. They were born early, before the end of the normal nine-month development period.
Researchers in Cleveland, Ohio studied two-hundred-forty-two people who were born in the late Nineteen-Seventies. At birth, they weighed an average of one-thousand-one-hundred-seventy-nine 4)grams. On average, they were born during the twenty-ninth week of pregnancy13. By comparison, a pregnancy is considered full term at thirty-seven weeks.
VOICE TWO:
The researchers compared the progress of those born early with other children over a twenty-year period. They found that the young people who had been very low birth weight babies were less likely to complete high school. They also did not perform as well on intelligence tests as other adults.
However, the very low birth weight adults were less likely to use drugs or alcoholic14 drinks. They also were less likely to become pregnant before the age of twenty.
(MUSIC)
VOICE ONE:
A long-term American study shows the importance of early education for poor children. The study is known as the 5)Abecedarian15 Project. It involved more than one-hundred young children from poor families in North Carolina.
Half of the children attended an all-day program at a high-quality childcare center. The center offered educational, health and social programs. Children took part in games and activities to increase their thinking and language skills and social and emotional development.
The children attended the program from when they were a few weeks old until the age of five years. The other group of children did not attend the childcare center. After the age of five, both groups attended public school.
VOICE TWO:
Researchers compared the two groups of children. When they were babies, both groups had similar results in tests for mental and physical skills. However, from the age of eighteen months, the children in the educational child care program did much better in tests.
The researchers tested the children again when they were twelve and fifteen years old. The tests found that the children who had been in the childcare center continued to have higher average test results. These children did much better on tests of reading and mathematics.
VOICE ONE:
Recently, organizers of the Abecedarian Project completed another examination of the students who are now twenty-one years old. They were tested for thinking and educational ability, employment, parenting and social skills.
The researchers found that the young adults who had the early education still did better in reading and mathematics tests. They were more than two times as likely to be attending college or to have graduated from college.
The study is more evidence that learning during the first months and years of life is important for all later development.
(THEME)
VOICE TWO:
This VOA Special English program, SCIENCE IN THE NEWS, was written by George Grow. It was produced by Cynthia Kirk. This is Bob Doughty.
VOICE ONE:
And this is Sarah Long. Join us again next week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of America.
注释:
1) device [di5vais] n.装置
2) cerebral [5seribrEl] adj.脑的,大脑的
3) cortex [5kC:teks] n.皮层,皮质
4) gram [^rAm] n.克
5) abecedarian [7eibi(:)si(:)5dZEriEn] n.初学者

 

 

 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 doughty Jk5zg     
adj.勇猛的,坚强的
参考例句:
  • Most of successful men have the characteristics of contumacy and doughty.绝大多数成功人士都有共同的特质:脾气倔强,性格刚强。
  • The doughty old man battled his illness with fierce determination.坚强的老人用巨大毅力与疾病作斗争。
2 pregnant IP3xP     
adj.怀孕的,怀胎的
参考例句:
  • She is a pregnant woman.她是一名孕妇。
  • She is pregnant with her first child.她怀了第一胎。
3 recording UktzJj     
n.录音,记录
参考例句:
  • How long will the recording of the song take?录下这首歌得花多少时间?
  • I want to play you a recording of the rehearsal.我想给你放一下彩排的录像。
4 recordings 22f9946cd05973582e73e4e3c0239bb7     
n.记录( recording的名词复数 );录音;录像;唱片
参考例句:
  • a boxed set of original recordings 一套盒装原声录音带
  • old jazz recordings reissued on CD 以激光唱片重新发行的老爵士乐
5 cerebral oUdyb     
adj.脑的,大脑的;有智力的,理智型的
参考例句:
  • Your left cerebral hemisphere controls the right-hand side of your body.你的左半脑控制身体的右半身。
  • He is a precise,methodical,cerebral man who carefully chooses his words.他是一个一丝不苟、有条理和理智的人,措辞谨慎。
6 remains 1kMzTy     
n.剩余物,残留物;遗体,遗迹
参考例句:
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
7 sensitivity 4DtzQ     
n.敏感(性),灵敏(度)
参考例句:
  • Hearing sensitivity declines with age.听觉因年老而衰退。
  • Such is the sensitivity of the information that only two people are allowed to know it.这信息极为敏感,只允许两个人知道。
8 interfere b5lx0     
v.(in)干涉,干预;(with)妨碍,打扰
参考例句:
  • If we interfere, it may do more harm than good.如果我们干预的话,可能弊多利少。
  • When others interfere in the affair,it always makes troubles. 别人一卷入这一事件,棘手的事情就来了。
9 depressed xu8zp9     
adj.沮丧的,抑郁的,不景气的,萧条的
参考例句:
  • When he was depressed,he felt utterly divorced from reality.他心情沮丧时就感到完全脱离了现实。
  • His mother was depressed by the sad news.这个坏消息使他的母亲意志消沉。
10 cooperative NZ5yS     
adj.有合作意向的,合作的;n.合作社(企业)等
参考例句:
  • The workmen are very cooperative,so the work goes on smoothly.工人们十分合作,所以工作进展顺利。
  • We decided to set up a cooperative.我们决定开办一家合作社。
11 dealing NvjzWP     
n.经商方法,待人态度
参考例句:
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
12 noted 5n4zXc     
adj.著名的,知名的
参考例句:
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
13 pregnancy lPwxP     
n.怀孕,怀孕期
参考例句:
  • Early pregnancy is often accompanied by nausea.怀孕早期常有恶心的现象。
  • Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage.怀孕期吸烟会增加流产的危险。
14 alcoholic rx7zC     
adj.(含)酒精的,由酒精引起的;n.酗酒者
参考例句:
  • The alcoholic strength of brandy far exceeds that of wine.白兰地的酒精浓度远远超过葡萄酒。
  • Alcoholic drinks act as a poison to a child.酒精饮料对小孩犹如毒药。
15 abecedarian 9IYy8     
n.初学者;adj.字母的,初步的
参考例句:
  • The article does an abecedarian analysis with respect to this one problem.本文就这一问题做一个初步的分析。
  • What fund has very big development perspective,help,I am abecedarian.哪些基金有很大的发展前景,帮帮忙,我是初学者。
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TAG标签:   voa  发展与科学  baby  intelligence
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