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September 2021

Temporal pattern and spectral complexity as stimulus parameters for eliciting a cardiac orienting reflex in human fetuses

Author(s): Mooney, D. M., Holland, S. B., Smith, Y. D., Atterbury, J. L., Dykman, R. A.

Journal/Book: Percept Psychophys. 2000; 62: 1710 Fortview Rd, Austin, TX 78704, USA. Psychonomic Soc Inc. 313-320.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine whether temporal pattern and/or spectral complexity were important stimulus parameters for eliciting a cardiac orienting reflex (OR) in low-risk human fetuses. Each of 28 term fetuses was exposed to four sounds formed from the four different combinations of temporal pattern (pulsed, continuous) and spectral complexity (sine wave, /(a) over cap/). The fetal cardiac electrical signal was captured transabdominally at a rate of 1024 Hz, and fetal R-waves were extracted by using adaptive signal-processing techniques. We found that pulsed sounds elicited a significantly greater decrease in heart rate (HR) than did continuous sounds. However, the HR response was relatively unaffected by spectral complexity. For the pure tone and the phoneme used in this study, our results indicate that temporal characteristics were more effective at eliciting a cardiac OR in human fetuses than was spectral complexity.

Note: Article Groome LJ, Univ S Alabama, Dept Obstet & Gynecol, Div Maternal Fetal Med, 2451 Fillingim St, Mobile,AL 36617 USA

Keyword(s): BEHAVIORAL STATES; SPEECH-PERCEPTION; HEART-RATE; NEWBORNS PERCEPTION; FETAL SHEEP; DISCRIMINATION; INTENSITY; FREQUENCY; LANGUAGE; INFANTS


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