Methodological problems in a study of fetal visual perception

Anne M. Scheel, Stuart J. Ritchie, Nicholas J.L. Brown, Steven L. Jacques

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Abstract

Reid et al. [1] analysed data from 39 third-trimester fetuses, concluding that they showed a preferential head-orienting reaction towards lights projected through the uterine wall in a face-like arrangement, as opposed to an inverted triangle of dots. These results imply not only that assessment of visual-perceptive responses is possible in prenatal subjects, but also that a measurable preference for faces exists before birth. However, we have identified three substantial problems with Reid et al.’s [1] method and analyses, which we outline here. A recent study on visual perception in human fetuses suggested that a preference for face-like shapes may be present before birth. Scheel et al. comment on this study, describing three methodological and analytical problems that call its conclusions into question.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R594-R596
Number of pages3
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume28
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2018

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Visual Perception
fetus
Fetus
Parturition
Third Pregnancy Trimester
Head
Light
visual perception
methodology

Cite this

Scheel, Anne M. ; Ritchie, Stuart J. ; Brown, Nicholas J.L. ; Jacques, Steven L. / Methodological problems in a study of fetal visual perception. In: Current Biology. 2018 ; Vol. 28, No. 10. pp. R594-R596.
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Methodological problems in a study of fetal visual perception. / Scheel, Anne M.; Ritchie, Stuart J.; Brown, Nicholas J.L.; Jacques, Steven L.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 28, No. 10, 21.05.2018, p. R594-R596.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademicpeer-review

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