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Durand K.,Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Psychology Group | Baudouin J.-Y.,Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Psychology Group | Baudouin J.-Y.,Institut Universitaire de France | Lewkowicz D.J.,Florida Atlantic University | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

This study investigated whether an odor can affect infants' attention to visually presented objects and whether it can selectively direct visual gaze at visual targets as a function of their meaning. Four-month-old infants (n = 48) were exposed to their mother's body odors while their visual exploration was recorded with an eye-movement tracking system. Two groups of infants, who were assigned to either an odor condition or a control condition, looked at a scene composed of still pictures of faces and cars. As expected, infants looked longer at the faces than at the cars but this spontaneous preference for faces was significantly enhanced in presence of the odor. As expected also, when looking at the face, the infants looked longer at the eyes than at any other facial regions, but, again, they looked at the eyes significantly longer in the presence of the odor. Thus, 4-month-old infants are sensitive to the contextual effects of odors while looking at faces. This suggests that early social attention to faces is mediated by visual as well as non-visual cues. © 2013 Durand et al. Source

Doucet S.,Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Psychology Group | Doucet S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Soussignan R.,Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Psychology Group | Soussignan R.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 3 more authors.
Early Human Development | Year: 2012

The early nursing-sucking relationship is not to be taken for granted in humans. A number of factors can either facilitate or mitigate its optimal establishment on the mother's or newborn's sides. Among these factors, a morphological feature of human mothers' breasts - the areolar glands (AG) - has been identified as potentially important. Three day-old infants display attraction during the presentation of the native secretions of the AG, suggesting that they could influence the newborn's behaviour during breastfeeding. The present study assessed this topic in a sample of 121 Caucasian mother-infant dyads. The areolae of these women were screened during the first 3 postnatal days in parallel with the infant's sucking performance, body weight fluctuations and time to lactation onset. On average, 97% of the women bore AG, 80.2% having 1-20 units per areola and 33% showing AG excreting a visible fluid. The endowment in AG appeared positively linked with neonatal growth after birth and with the speed of lactation onset: infants of primiparous women with lower AG numbers had a lower weight gain than those of mothers with higher AG numbers. Further, it took longer to primiparae with lower AG counts to set on lactation. This study confirms and extends the fact that AG, in interaction with maternal experience, might influence the initiation of the breastfeeding relationship. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Al Ain S.,Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Psychology Group | Mingioni M.,Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Psychology Group | Patris B.,Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Psychology Group | Schaal B.,Developmental Ethology and Cognitive Psychology Group
Developmental Psychobiology | Year: 2014

It is a general rule that milk conveys chemosensory cues that are attractive to mammalian neonates. This study investigated whether compositional fluctuations in milk along lactation induce variations in newborn mouse pups' (Mus musculus, strain BALB/c) attraction to milk odor. Pups differing in suckling experience were exposed to the odor of milk sampled from females varying in lactational stage. Immediately after birth, suckling-inexperienced (P0) and suckling-experienced (P0suck) pups were assayed in a series of paired-choice tests contrasting murine milk [of lactation days 0, 3, 15 (abridged L0, L3, L15, respectively)] and a blank (water) to evaluate olfactory detection and attraction of milk odor. Preference tests further paired these milk two-by-two to assess their relative attraction. Results showed first that P0 and P0suck pups detect and positively orient to any milk odor. When L0 is presented against L15 milk, P0 pups orient for a similar duration towards these odor stimuli, whereas P0suck pups spend more time toward the odor of L0 than of L15 milk. Finally, P0suck pups orient similarly to odors of L0 milk collected before/after the first suckling episode (L0 and L0suck, respectively), but the odor of L0 milk was more attractive than that of L3 milk. Thus, mouse pups' positive orientation toward the odors of murine colostrum (assumed to correspond to L0/L0suck milk) and later-lactation milk appears unconditional of previous suckling experience, whereas their ability to discriminate or display preference between milk differing in lactation stage appears conditional on postnatal exposure effects. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 56: 1365-1376, 2014. Source

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