(CBS) – How cute is a baby’s hiccup? Turns out those hiccups may actually help a baby’s brain development.
Hiccups occur when the diaphragm contracts and the vocal cords rapidly close, making the characteristic noise.READ MORE: 'He Embraced This City': Fans Celebrate David Ortiz's Election To Hall Of Fame
Baby hiccups begin in the womb and continue after birth. Most babies can sleep right through them.READ MORE: Tatum, Brown Lead Celtics In 128-75 Rout Over Kings
In a new study, researchers at University College London looked at 13 pre-term and full-term babies and found that hiccups trigger a large wave of brain signals. They believe this cascade may help babies learn how to regulate their breathing and voluntarily control breathing muscles, like the diaphragm, over time.MORE NEWS: Keller: Gov. Baker's Final State Of The Commonwealth Was A Victory Lap
The researchers said it’s possible that occasional hiccupping in adults may simply be leftover behavior from infancy.