Effects of Altered Prenatal Sensory Stimulation on Postnatal Contingency Learning in Bobwhite Quail Neonates (Colinus Virginianus)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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contingency learning, preterm birth, prenatal sensory stimulation
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Preterm infants are exposed to high levels of modified early sensory experience in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Reports that preterm infants show deficits in contingency detection and learning when compared to full-term infants (Gekoski, Fagen, & Pearlman, 1984; Haley, Weinberg, & Grunau, 2006) suggest that their exposure to atypical amounts or types of sensory stimulation might contribute to deficits in these critical skills. Experimental modifications of sensory experience are severely limited with human fetuses and preterm infants, and previous studies with precocial bird embryos that develop in ovo have proven useful to assess the effects of modified perinatal sensory experience on subsequent perceptual and cognitive development. In the current study, I assessed whether increasing amounts of prenatal auditory or visual stimulation can interfere with quail neonates’ contingency detection and contingency learning in the days following hatching.
Results revealed that augmented prenatal visual stimulation prior to hatching does not disrupt the ability of bobwhite chicks to recognize and prefer information learned in a contingent fashion, whereas augmented prenatal auditory stimulation disrupted the ability of chicks to benefit from contingently presented information. These results suggest that specific types of augmented prenatal stimulation that embryos receive during late prenatal period can impair the ability to learn and remember contingently presented information. These results provide testable developmental hypotheses, with the goal of improving the developmental care and management of preterm neonates in the NICU setting.
Raju, Namitha, "Effects of Altered Prenatal Sensory Stimulation on Postnatal Contingency Learning in Bobwhite Quail Neonates (Colinus Virginianus)" (2014). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1620.
Biological Psychology Commons, Cognition and Perception Commons, Developmental Psychology Commons
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