Dr. Alfred Tomatis has shown that, while in the womb, we incorporate and respond to the rhythm and melody of our mother’s voice in the true sense of the word. According to Carla Hannaford, PhD the fetus will move the same specific muscle in the body every time it hears a specific phoneme. This sensory-motor response to phonemes she considers the beginning of language learning in utero. While in the womb, around the 6th month of gestation the fetus begins to exhibit eye-blinks which move in tune with the rhythm of the music in mother’s surroundings. Tomatis demonstrated that these pre-natal sound interactions influence our attention, language skills, behavior, emotional regulation and movement development throughout our lives.
During infancy and early childhood intensive listening and movement learning processes occur. Often these developmental processes are disrupted by factors such as ear infections, emotional difficulties (adoption distress, etc.), sensory-motor deprivation or overload, pre-, peri- and postnatal factors, and so on. In these cases the ear and movement control cannot reach their full life-potential.
One of the leading causes of learning and developmental disorders (Dyslexia, ADD, PDD, Autism) is the reduced ability to neuro-cognitively process sound and listen well. Even during adolescence and adulthood, these fundamental capabilities can be enhanced and refined further. Our listening and movement skills profoundly influence the quality of our personal and professional lives.
Dr. Tomatis developed technology and a method to help retrain the listening function so it can either fully mature and integrate it further with the sensory-motor systems or attain peak-performance in various areas. His approach is rooted in the plasticity our brain exhibits throughout our lives.