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A novel, short and easy-to-perform method to evaluate newborns’ social olfactory preferences

Abstract : Humans’ early olfactory perception has been studied mainly within the framework of mother–offspring interactions and only a few studies have focused on newborns’ abilities to discriminate body odors per se. The aim of this study was to develop a method to evaluate olfactory social preferences of infants at term-equivalent age. Twenty dyads of infants (10 born preterm and 10 born at term) at term-equivalent age and their mothers were included. We analyzed the behavioral reactions of infants to their mother's upper-chest odor (that bears social, non-food related information). The two impregnated gauzes and a control gauze were presented to the infants for 10 s each, in a random order. We compared two durations of gauze impregnation: 30 min and 12 h. This study reveals that mothers’ upper chest emits sufficient olfactory information to induce reactions in infants born full-term or born preterm and that a short impregnation is preferable to evaluate their perception of body odors, notably for those born preterm.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 11:36:44 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 5, 2022 - 4:52:13 PM


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Vanessa André, Séverine Henry, Adelyne Vuillemin, Alain Beuchee, Jacques Sizun, et al.. A novel, short and easy-to-perform method to evaluate newborns’ social olfactory preferences. Animal Cognition, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2020, 23 (5), pp.843-850. ⟨10.1007/s10071-020-01397-w⟩. ⟨hal-02732989⟩



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