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Differential response to intraoral sucrose, quinine and corn oil in crying human newborns.

Author(s): Graillon A, Barr RG, Young SN, Wright JH, Hendricks LA

Affiliation(s): The Department of Pediatrics, McGill University-Montreal Children's Hospital Research Institute, Qc, Canada.

Publication date & source: 1997-08, Physiol Behav., 62(2):317-25.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Comparative Study ; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Intraoral sucrose induces rapid and sustained calm in crying newborns and transiently increases mouthing and hand-mouth contact. To determine whether these effects are specific to sucrose and to explore which properties of orogustatory stimuli might contribute to this effect, 60 crying newborns were randomized to receive 250 ul of 24% sucrose solution, 0.25% quinine hydrochloride solution, or corn oil as well as water in a mixed parallel crossover design. Relative to water, sucrose persistently reduced crying, and transiently increased mouthing and hand-mouth contact as previously demonstrated. While quinine produces a "disgust" face in calm infants, in crying infants it transiently decreased crying and increased mouthing, but did not affect hand-mouth contact. Corn oil had no specific effect on crying, mouthing or hand-mouth contact. The results imply that crying newborns respond differentially to orogustatory stimuli, that taste "salience" rather than positive hedonic valence may account for initial crying reduction and increased mouthing, and that these behavioral effects are not induced by at least one lipid nutrient.

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