Ustun, Beyza and Reissland, Nadja and Covey, Judith and Schaal, Benoist and Blisset, Jacqueline (2022) 'Flavor Sensing in Utero and Emerging Discriminative Behaviours in the Human Fetus.', Psychological Science, 33 (10). pp. 1651-1663.
The diet of pregnant women exposes fetuses to a variety of flavors consisting of compound sensations involving smell, taste, and chemesthesis. The effects of such prenatal flavor exposure on chemosensory development have so far been measured only postnatally in human infants. Here, we report the first direct evidence of human fetal responsiveness to flavors transferred via maternal consumption of a single-dose capsule by measuring frame-by-frame fetal facial movements. Pregnant women and their fetuses based in the northeast of England were involved in this study from 32 to 36 weeks’ gestation. Fetuses exposed to carrot flavor (n = 35) showed “lip-corner puller” and “laughter-face gestalt” more frequently, whereas fetuses exposed to kale flavor (n = 34) showed more “upper-lip raiser,” “lower-lip depressor,” “lip stretch,” “lip presser,” and “cry-face gestalt” in comparison with the carrot group and a control group not exposed to any flavors (n = 30). The complexity of facial gestalts increased from 32 to 36 weeks in the kale condition, but not in the carrot condition. Findings of this study have important implications for understanding the earliest evidence for fetal abilities to sense and discriminate different flavors.
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|Publisher Web site:||https://doi.org/10.1177/09567976221105460|
|Publisher statement:||© The Author(s) 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). Request permissions for this article.|
|Date accepted:||16 May 2022|
|Date deposited:||13 May 2022|
|Date of first online publication:||21 September 2022|
|Date first made open access:||22 September 2022|
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