The development of anticipation in the fetus:a longitudinal account of human fetal mouth movements in reaction to and anticipation of touch

Reissland, Nadja and Francis, Brian and Aydin, Ezra and Mason, James and Schaal, Benoist (2014) The development of anticipation in the fetus:a longitudinal account of human fetal mouth movements in reaction to and anticipation of touch. Developmental Psychobiology, 56 (5). pp. 955-963. ISSN 0012-1630

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Abstract

Background: Research suggests that fetuses open or close their mouth in relation to directed movements (e.g. Myowa-Yamakoshi & Takeshita, 2006) but it is unclear whether mouth opening anticipates the touch or is a reaction to touch, as there has been no analysis so far of 1) the facial area of touch and 2) the sequential ordering of touch and mouth movements. If there is prenatal development of touch we would expect the frequency of fetal mouth opening immediately preceding the arriving hand at the mouth area to increase with fetal age. Participants: Fifteen healthy fetuses, 8 girls and 7 boys, underwent four additional 4-D scans at 24, 28, 32 and 36 weeks gestation. Results: Changes in the frequency of touch for different facial regions indicated a significant decline in touch upper and side part of the face and a significant increase in touching lower and perioral regions of the face with increasing gestational age. Results supporting the hypothesis showed a significant increase in the proportion of anticipatory mouth movements before touching increasing by around 8% with each week of gestational age. Additionally there was a decrease in the proportion of reactive mouth movements decreasing by around 3% for each week of gestational age.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Developmental Psychobiology
Additional Information:
This is a post-print of an article published in Developmental Psychobiology, 56 (5), 2014. (c) Wiley.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3204
Subjects:
ID Code:
69487
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
23 May 2014 09:30
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
18 Nov 2020 02:21