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Cardiac Responsivity to Tactile Stimulation in Waking and Sleeping Infants NICHD

Dodd, Cornelia; Harwitz, Marcia; Lewis, Michael
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Science Foundation (NSF), Fetal heart rate monitoring., Infant Behavior, Metabolism, Responses, Tactual Perception


The role of state in determining a psychological or physiological response is not disputed. However, a few studies using neonates and young infants have paid much attention to this variable. This study was designed to investigate state differences in the newborn's cardiac response to a tactile stimulus. The results indicated: (1) the infant when asleep showed significantly different cardiac response than when awake. This replication demonstrates that an infant's state must be considered in any work using heart rate response. (2) In the present study, six cardiac response parameters were observed and it was clear that not all these measures of the cardiac response yield similar results and that the response parameter E chooses to use will determine the degree of habituation found and the nature of the response curve. (3) In general, there were differences in habituation between the waking and sleeping infant.

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