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Ciba Found Symp. 1975;(33):103-17.

Olfaction in the development of social preferences in the human neonate.


Olfactory perception in the human neonate has been largely ignored. The present experiments examine the possibility that neonates can use smell to locate a food source and that they can differentiate between their own mother and another mother on the basis of smell. Head-turning to breast pads was used in perference tests. Although the neonate did not appear to be able to use smell to localize a food source, significantly more babies spent more time turning towards their own mother's breast pad than towards a clean breast pad at five days of age. By six days of age babies were showing a differential response between their own mother's breast pad and another mother's breast pad, although this differentiation was not present at two days of age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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