Hemodynamic Responses to Speech and Music in Newborn Infants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We used near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to study responses to speech and music on the auditory cortices of 13 healthy full-term newborn infants during natural sleep. The purpose of the study was to investigate the lateralization of speech and music responses at this stage of development. NIRS data was recorded from eight positions on both hemispheres simultaneously with electroencephalography, electrooculography, electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, and inclinometry. In 11 subjects, statistically significant (P < 0.02) oxygenated (HbO(2)) and total hemoglobin (HbT) responses were recorded. Both stimulus types elicited significant HbO(2) and HUT responses on both hemispheres in five subjects. Six of the 11 subjects had positive HbO(2) and HbT responses to both stimulus types, whereas one subject had negative responses. Mixed positive and negative responses were observed in four neonates. On both hemispheres, speech and music responses were significantly correlated (r = 0.64; P = 0.018 on the left hemisphere (LH) and r = 0.60; P = 0.029 on the right hemisphere (RH)). On the group level, the average response to the speech stimuli was statistically significantly greater than zero in the LH, whereas responses on the RH or to the music stimuli did not differ significantly from zero. This suggests a more coherent response to speech on the LH. However, significant differences in lateralization of the responses or mean response amplitudes of the two stimulus types were not observed on the group level. Hum Brain Mapp 31:595-603, 2010. (C) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


  • Kalle Kotilahti
  • Ilkka Nissila
  • Tiina Nasi
  • Lauri Lipiainen
  • Tommi Noponen
  • Pekka Merilainen
  • Minna Huotilainen
  • Vineta Fellman
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pediatrics


  • auditory responses, near-infrared spectroscopy, functional laterality, brain imaging, neonate
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-603
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch