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Visual Alertness as Related to Soothing in Neonates: Implications for Maternal Stimulation and Early Deprivation

Anneliese F. Korner and Rose Grobstein
Child Development
Vol. 37, No. 4 (Dec., 1966), pp. 867-876
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1126609
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1126609
Page Count: 10
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Visual Alertness as Related to Soothing in Neonates: Implications for Maternal Stimulation and Early Deprivation
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Abstract

Observation of neonates revealed that when crying infants are picked up and put to the shoulder, they not only stop crying but they frequently alert and scan the environment. In order to explore the relations between soothing and visual alertness, 12 2-3-day-old healthy females were picked up while crying and put alternately to the right and left shoulder and propped to a sitting position. For 30 seconds following these interventions, incidences of alerting and scanning were recorded. For control trials the same was done without any intervention. Results reflect significant differences between positions in alerting and scanning. Each infant alerted and scanned in the majority of trials when put to the shoulder. Handling alone did not induce alertness significantly more often than control trials. The implications of the findings were discussed, particularly with respect to animal and human research on the effects of early stimulation.

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