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Newborn hiccups could be the key to brain development



  Baby
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Every time a newborn hiccups, it triggers a large wave of brain signals that could help the baby learn how to regulate his breathing, and finds a new UCL-led study.

The study published in Clinical Neurophysiology was based on neonatal brain scans.

"The reasons why we have hiccups are not clear, but there may be a reason for development" That fetuses and newborns hiccup so often, "said lead author Kimberley Whitehead (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology Hickling starts in the womb as early as nine weeks of pregnancy, making it one of the earliest activity patterns.

The present study included 1

3 newborns in a neonatal unit who had hiccups 30 to 42 weeks (equivalent) before and during pregnancy, so their development could be similar to what was typical in the last trimester of pregnancy.

Brain activity was recorded with EEG electrodes (electroencephalography) placed on the scalp, while motion sensors on the infant's torso have a linked record which provided when it came to hiccups.

The same researchers have previously suggested that babies who enter the womb may create mental maps of their own bodies and say their new findings may reflect the same process for the inner body.

The researchers found that contractions of the diaphragmatic muscle through hiccup caused a pronounced reaction in the cerebral cortex – two large brain waves followed by a third. Because the third brain wave is similar to that caused by a noise, the brain of a newborn baby can associate the "hiccup noise" with the sensation of diaphragmatic muscle contraction. The researchers say that postnatal processing of multisensory inputs is important for building brain connections.

"The activity that results from a hiccup can help the baby's brain to learn how to monitor the respiratory muscles, so that eventually breathing can be voluntarily controlled." When we are born, the circuits that make up the baby are Processing body sensations is not fully developed, "said lead author of the study, Dr. Lorenzo Fabrizi (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) Setting up such networks is a crucial milestone for neonatal development," he continued.

Kimberley Whitehead said, "Our findings have led us to wonder if adult hiccups, which seem to be primarily a nuisance, can actually come from a forensics backup left over from infancy as an important one Function had. "


Babies who enter the womb create a map of their body


Further information:
Kimberley Whitehead et al., TEMPORARY REMOVAL: Eventual potential after respiratory muscle contraction in premature and premature infants, Clinical Neurophysiology (2019). DOI: 10.1016 / j.clinph.2019.09.008

Provided by
University College London




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Newborn Hiccups May Be the Key to Brain Development (2019, Nov. 11)
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