Babies see faces from the womb, says study
BABIES have been found to be able to recognise the shape of a face while in the womb.
Until recently it was thought the inside of the womb was completely dark.
But now a research project shows that not only can light get through, babies can actively follow a shape.
While the image that can be projected into the womb is fuzzy, scientists say it is enough to show babies can and do make use of their sense of vision before birth.
In the future, higher resolution images could be shown to the unborn raising the possibility of parents beaming pictures of themselves into the womb for their babies to see.
British scientists projected red light in the shape of a face on to the mother’s stomach. Only red light which has the shortest wavelength can penetrate the skin, muscle and fluid separating the baby from the outside world.
When the lights were in the shape of a crude face two dots for eyes and one dot for a mouth babies turned their heads to look at the face. But they were less likely to respond when the lights were upside down and more likely to turn their heads away from it.
The research is the first to show that babies are able to respond to images in the womb. The findings help to explain why babies are so responsive to faces from birth.
Dr Vincent Reid of Lancaster University said: “We have shown the foetus can distinguish between different shapes, preferring to track face-like over non-face-like shapes.” – Daily Mail