Document Detail

Preliminary evidence of a sensitive period for olfactory learning by human newborns.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17407459     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIM: To test the hypothesis that a brief window of time immediately after delivery may be a particularly sensitive period for olfactory learning by human neonates. METHODS: Fifty-five vaginally delivered newborns were exposed to an odorant for 30 min beginning 4-37 min after birth (Early exposure) or 12-h post-partum (Late exposure). Several days later, newborns' head orientation responses to the exposure odour versus an unfamiliar odour or an odourless control stimulus were tested. RESULTS: Infants in the Early exposure group spent significantly more time oriented towards the familiar scent rather than a novel odour (Z = 2.869; n = 28; p < 0.01), or an odourless stimulus (Z = 2.550; n = 28; p < 0.01). Infants in the Late exposure condition did not respond differentially to the exposure odour versus a novel odour (Z = 1.105; n = 27, p = 0.27), and spent more time oriented towards an odourless stimulus than to the exposure odour (Z = 2.042; n = 27, p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Infants in the Early exposure group, but not in the Late exposure group, became familiar with the exposure odour and retained a memory trace of it during the test trials.
O Romantshik; R H Porter; V Tillmann; H Varendi
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992)     Volume:  96     ISSN:  0803-5253     ISO Abbreviation:  Acta Paediatr.     Publication Date:  2007 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-04-04     Completed Date:  2007-05-01     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9205968     Medline TA:  Acta Paediatr     Country:  Norway    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  372-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Paediatrics, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.
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MeSH Terms
Infant, Newborn / physiology*
Smell / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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