Author(s): Marlier L, Schaal B, Soussignan R
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Abstract The head-orientation response of 2- and 4-day-old bottle-feeding neonates was studied in paired-choice odor tests. Three tests were conducted at Days 2 and 4 after birth to assess the development of the relative response between two salient odors from the prenatal and postnatal environments: (a) amniotic fluid (AF) versus formula milk (FM), (b) FM versus control stimulus (distilled water), and (c) AF versus control stimulus. At both ages, AF and FM elicited positive orientation when presented simultaneously with the control stimulus, indicating that both odors were detectable and attractive to the infants. However, when AF and FM were presented concurrently, the infants expressed significantly longer orientation response toward AF odor than toward FM odor at the age of 2 and 4 days. Within the first 4 days of life, bottle-feeders thus display olfactory preference for a prenatal substrate over a postnatal substrate to which they were recurrently exposed in the feeding situation.
This article was published in Dev Psychobiol
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health