6645 Odor-Mediated Maternal Effects Shape Infant Perception and Cognition Lifelong

Friday, February 17, 2012: 1:30 PM
Room 211 (VCC West Building)
Benoist Schaal , Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Dijon, France
The human fetal brain encodes odor stimuli and mediates orientation when such stimuli are re-encountered postnatally. These perceptual abilities are further attuned in the context of breastfeeding, with milk working both as a medium and as a reinforcer. Information afforded by the breast prepares the infants' response to non-milk foods through modality-specific processes, but also through amodal processes that do influence later behavior. Early sensory processes leading to atypical trajectories in feeding (overweight) will be discussed.