The vocal repertoire of preterm infants: Characteristics and possible applications.

Infant Behavior & Development
Vanessa AndréAlban Lemasson

Abstract

We investigated infants' capacities to express themselves orally at very early developmental stages. Most reports focus on crying when in pain or hungry. We evaluated young preterm infants' spontaneous vocal production in non-painful contexts. We identified a vocal repertoire composed of nine types of vocalisations. High-pitched sounds were associated with relaxed postures, implying a positive valence, whereas long low-pitched vocalisations, associated more with grimaces and muscle tensions, appeared to have a more negative valence. Infants' vocalisations were useful indicators of their internal state in two situations (when exposed to clothing constraints and environmental noises).

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