Of human bonding: newborns prefer their mothers' voices

Science. 1980 Jun 6;208(4448):1174-6. doi: 10.1126/science.7375928.


By sucking on a nonnutritive nipple in different ways, a newborn human could produce either its mother's voice or the voice of another female. Infants learned how to produce the mother's voice and produced it more often than the other voice. The neonate's preference for the maternal voice suggests that the period shortly after birth may be important for initiating infant bonding to the mother.

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Sucking Behavior / physiology*