Photo in the News: Babies Unwind Wearing Headphones

Photo: Four babies wearing headphones
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August 12, 2005—It's not easy being born, so doctors in a Slovak hospital are offering their new arrivals an unusual stress reliever: headphones.

In this photo taken yesterday, a quartet of one- and two-day-old babies listen to classical music as part of an experimental program. Doctors at Kosice-Saca Hospital, the first private hospital in Slovakia, believe the music therapy helps newborns reduce stress and stay healthy.

Shortly after birth, infants receive five 20-minute music sessions each day. Doctors found that while the tikes are tuned in, most of them fall asleep or lie quietly.

The hospital's observations could be linked to the still controversial "Mozart effect," which was first reported in Nature in 1993. In the study, scientists at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, showed that listening to a Mozart piano sonata for ten minutes prior to taking an intelligence test improved students' scores.

—Victoria Gilman

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