Babies born before the 28th week of pregnancy rarely present serious cerebral lesions thanks to hospital care. However, they have difficulty at school, learn less well, demonstrate lower levels of concentration and find it difficult to interpret emotions.
In order to better understand the cause of these problems, researchers at HUG and the University of Geneva have studied the connectome – all of the brain’s neuronal connections – of young children using nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. They have located the origin of premature children’s difficulties behind the forehead.
The next step is to verify if musical activities and exercises practised from birth up to the age of 13 years can have a positive influence on this area of the brain and thus help premature children in their development.