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A Mom's Voice Can Calm Nerves

Next time you feel nervous, call mom.

New research shows that hearing a mom’s voice can calm nerves and maybe even pierce through a coma, according to MSNBC.com.

Just hearing a mother’s soothing voice can release Oxytocin, the bonding, or so-called “love,” hormone (assuming you have a good relationship with your mom).

In a study published Wednesday, researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, asked 61 girls (age 7-12) and their moms to participate in an experiment to determine whether a voice could be as comforting as physical affection.

The girls were asked to give a speech and solve math problems in front of a panel of judges, tasks designed to make them nervous.

When they finished their presentations, the girls were divided into three rooms. In one room, their mom gave them a hug. In another room, the girls received a phone call from their mom, who commended them on a job well done. The final group watched the documentary “The March of the Penguins” and had no contact with mom.

When the researchers later measured hormone levels, they were surprised to find that the girls who had heard their moms voice alone had the same level of oxytocin as the ones who had physical contact with their mothers.

“It’s generally been assumed that there has to be physical contact for oxytocin to released,” said study co-author Seth Pollak, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, “March of the Penguins” didn’t boost oxytocin in the girls at all.

More proof that moms are better than penguins.

Is a mom’s voice powerful enough to pierce a coma? Researchers at Northwestern University are trying to find out.

These researchers are recording voices of family and friends and playing them to brain-brain-injured patients several times a day. Ryan Schroeder, a 21-year-old college student, was in a coma after a snowmobile accident. After three weeks of hearing his mother’s voice played for him continuously, he began to respond to external stimuli.

Researchers can’t say for sure whether his mom’s voice was responsible until the study is completed. But whatever the findings turn out to be, there’s no refuting the fact that a mom’s love is pretty powerful stuff.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

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