Best of 2017 // #81: Fetuses Favour Faces


Newborn babies tend to favour face-like shapes, like Mickey Mouse, or upside down Triangle.  Researchers have been able to prove that fetuses in the third trimester have similar preferences for faces.

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Studying fetuses using light conditions is a recent idea.  There has been extension research on fetal stimulation to all matter of input, however, until now, visual responses had remained inconclusive.

A study, published in June’s Current Biology, Vincent Reid, developmental psychologist at Lancaster University put together a team to design an LED array that could penetrate the skin of the mother, allowing the light to reach the fetus.

They used 3 LED points to show the edges of a triangle which would drift and move.  They they observed the fetal movements via 4D Ultrasound – like a standard 3D ultrasound, but with motion.  Not only did  39 different fetuses see the lights, and follow the image as it moved, but they also had a noted preference of watching the triangle when it was top-heavy, like a face.

Researchers plan to replicate the experiment with more visual aspects.

There’s more stories from 2017.  Check out the Best of 2017 series here

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