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.
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.
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