Based on the presentations given by well-known specialists at a recent multidisciplinary conference of developmental psychobiologists, obstetricians, and physiologists, this book is the first exhaustive attempt to synthesize the present scientific knowledge on fetal behavior. Utilizing a psychobiological analytic approach, it provides the reader with an overview of the perspectives, hypotheses, and experimental results from a group of basic scientists and clinicians who conduct research to elucidate the role of fetal behavior in development. Experimental and clinical as well as human and animal data are explored via comparative developmental analysis. The ontogeny of fetal spontaneous activity -- via the maturation of "behavioral states" -- and of fetal responsiveness to sensory stimulation is studied in detail. Results are provided from studies of embryonic/fetal and newborn behavior in chicks, rats, sheep, primates, and humans. Knowledge of fetal behavior is crucial to the obstetrician, neonatologist, developmental psychologist, and even the future parents, in order to follow and assess the gradual development of spontaneous responsive movements of the fetus. While assessing this important information, this text also examines the neuro-behavioral events taking place during the fetal period as an aid to understanding normal and pathological life span development.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Part I: Historical Overview. N.A. Krasnegor, J-P. Lecanuet, Behavioral Development of the Fetus. Part II: Introduction: Basic Concepts. W.P. Smotherman, S.R. Robinson, Tracing Developmental Trajectories into the Prenatal Period. Part III: Behavioral States of the Fetus. M.M. Myers, K.F. Schulze, W.P. Fifer, R.I. Stark, Methods for Quantifying State-Specific Patterns of EEG Activity in Fetal Baboons and Immature Human Infants. R.I. Stark, M.M. Myers, Breathing and Hiccups in the Fetal Baboon. J.G. Nijhuis, Physiological and Clinical Consequences in Relation to the Development of Fetal Behavior and Fetal Behavioral States. D. Arduini, G. Rizzo, C. Romanini, Fetal Behavioural States and Behavioral Transitions in Normal and Compromised Fetuses. D. James, M. Pillai, J. Smoleniec, Neurobehavioural Development in the Human Fetus. R. Gagnon, Developmental Aspects of Alterations in Fetal Behavioural States. K.F. Schulze, S. Kashyap, R. Sahni, W.P. Fifer, M.M. Myers, Nutrition and Behavioral States in the Developing Human Infant. Part IV: Motor and Sensory Development of the Fetus. S.S. Robertson, L.F. Bacher, Oscillation and Chaos in Fetal Motor Activity. A. Bekoff, Development of Motor Behavior in Chick Embryos. B. Schaal, P. Orgeur, C. Rognon, Odor Sensing in the Human Fetus: Anatomical, Functional, and ChemoEcological Bases. J-P. Lecanuet, C. Granier-Deferre, M-C. Busnel, Human Fetal Auditory Perception. B.S. Kisilevsky, The Influence of Stimulus and Subject Variables on Human Fetal Responses to Sound and Vibration. Part V: Fetal Experience: Basic Studies. R. Lickliter, Embryonic Sensory Experience and Intersensory Development in Precocial Birds. S.R. Robinson, W.P. Smotherman, Habituation and Classical Conditioning in the Rat Fetus: Opioid Involvements. R.M. Abrams, K.J. Gerhardt, A.J.M. Peters, Transmission of Sound and Vibration to the Fetus. A.E. Ronca, J.R. Alberts, Maternal Contributions to Fetal Experience and the Transition From Prenatal to Postnatal Life. W.P. Fifer, C.M. Moon, The Effects of Fetal Experience with Sound. Part VI: Clinical Evaluation of Perinatal Experience. P.W. Nathanielsz, The Effects of Myometrial Activity During the Last Third of Gestation on Fetal Behavior. L.R. Leader, The Potential Value of Habituation in the Prenate. P.G. Hepper, The Behavior of the Fetus as an Indicator of Neural Functioning. J.C. Molina, M.G. Chotro, H.D. Domínguez, Fetal Alcohol Learning Resulting from Alcohol Contamination of the Prenatal Environment. H. Als, The Preterm Infant: A Model for the Study of Fetal Brain Expectation.
"Methodologies with their inherent strengths and weaknesses in terms of collecting data that are both statistically significant and scientifically meaningful are mentioned... would recommend this book to neurologists and pediatricians interested in neonatal neurology."
—Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
"...the finest contemporary statement of knowledge on fetal behaviour using criteria no less rigid than the standards of experimental physiology laboratories....I was favourably impressed with this volume as a useful contribution to an understanding of neural function in the immature state of the fetus and transitional newborn, and would recommend this book to neurologists and paediatricians interested in neonatal neurology. Coming from a skeptical paediatric neurologist/developmental psychologist, this is a strong endorsement."
—Harvey B. Sarnat, The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
"This book conveys a coherent message about the development of mental life in the human foetus, proving that cerebral preparations for after birth are clearly in place in the last trimester when the foetus is aware, learning, and receiving input from a maternal environment that itself has patterns of activity and change."
"The volume as a whole is a gem for our time in the study of development....This collection of chapters and the integrative introduction by the editors will serve as a very worthwhile transitional document. As a historical summary, and a platform for the next decade, it is excellent."