That face a baby makes when they eat something they don’t like, a new study suggests it’s an expression he or she has been making since long before birth.
The amazing new research from Durham University in England and the National Centre for Scientific Research in France demonstrates how unique and intricately developed babies already are before they are born.
Published Thursday, the study found that unborn babies at 32 weeks to 36 weeks show different facial expressions depending on the types of food their mothers have eaten, AFP reports.
The scientists used 4D ultrasound scans to watch the reactions of about 100 unborn babies after their mothers ate kale and carrots. Unborn babies who tasted the carrots showed happy, “laughter-face” responses while those who tasted kale appeared unhappy, or “cry-faced,” according to the researchers.
“A number of studies have suggested that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but they are based on post-birth outcomes while our study is the first to see these reactions prior to birth,” lead researcher Beyza Ustun told AFP.
Here’s more from The Guardian:
Writing in the journal Psychological Science, the team noted that aromas from the mother’s diet were present in the amniotic fluid. Taste buds can detect taste-related chemicals from 14 weeks’ gestation, and odour molecules can be sensed from 24 weeks’ gestation. …
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Dr Benoist Schaal, an author of the work, from the Centre for Taste and Feeding Behaviour at the University of Burgundy, told the Guardian the clarity of the results was surprising.
“[They mean] the mother has not yet finished her meal [when] the foetus is already aware, or capable of sensing, what the mother has eaten,” he said.
Scientific advances have provided an amazing window into the womb. It is clearer than ever that unborn babies are unique, irreplaceable human beings with traits unlike any other human being who ever existed or ever will exist. One recent study from the University of Virginia found that certain behavioral traits, such as cuddliness or perceptual sensitivity, already are hardwired into a newborn baby’s brain.
Other studies have shown unborn babies reacting to various stimuli in the womb, including music and sound. Researchers also have found that unborn babies develop a sense of taste in the womb and learn to recognize the flavors and spices of the culture’s cuisine.