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Responsiveness to the odour of amniotic fluid in the human neonate.

Authors
  • Schaal, B
  • Marlier, L
  • Soussignan, R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biology of the neonate
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1995
Volume
67
Issue
6
Pages
397–406
Identifiers
PMID: 7578623
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Two-day-old newborns were videotaped during a double-choice test contrasting the odours of their amniotic fluid (AF) and of a control stimulus. To control for early motor asymmetries, the lateral position of both stimuli was balanced both between and within subjects. On average, neonates oriented their nose for a significantly longer duration toward the odour of AF. Regardless of the nature of the stimulus, neonates also evinced a marked head-turning bias to the right side. The nature of the odour stimulus and side of presentation interacted so that infants turned their nose longer to the AF odour when it was presented from the right side. These data indicate that newborns can detect the AF odour, and that they remain attracted towards it for at least 2 days after birth.

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