General, Research, Technology

What do babies see in the womb?

Hearing, taste, touch and smell develop inthe fetus long before birth, and all these feelings have been fairly well studied by scientists. To the question of studying the vision of the fetus, science was still not quite ready to date, due to insufficiently developed methods and technologies. Fortunately, scientists were able to develop the latest techniques that allow research to study the development of vision in the fetus located in the womb.

Light is able to penetrate the tissues of the mother and the fetus is able to see it

While studying visual reactions,Unborn children, scientists conducted an experiment on 39 women and their fruits. Images consisting of 3 infrared points were projected onto the uterine wall, partly resembling a human face. Using 4D ultrasound, specialists monitored the presence of any reaction in the fetus. As a result, it turned out that in order to examine faces, unborn babies turned their heads towards images. In other words, by the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy, the baby’s eyes are not yet able to see images, but they can already detect light.

It was previously assumed that photosensitivecells in the still developing retina, which is represented by brain-like tissue at the back of the eye, performed the work of a switch in order to establish circadian rhythms, as a result of which the sleep and wakefulness of newborns is regulated. Scientists from a university in California managed to find evidence that fairly simple cells can actually communicate with each other, creating an interconnected network that gives the retina a much greater photosensitivity. Researchers believe that such an interconnected network can enhance the influence of light on the behavior and development of the brain.

By the 15th week of its development, the fetus is able to distinguish between light and darkness.

In the developing organs of vision of the unbornabout 3% of the ganglion cells that send signaling messages through the optic nerve to the brain, with a high sensitivity to light, are found in the child. To date, scientists have discovered about six different subtypes that actively interact with different parts of the brain. Some subtypes carry signals to the suprachiasmatic nucleus in order to set up our biorhythms in a certain way, while the rest of them send signals to the area of ​​the brain that causes our pupils to narrow in bright light.

See also: Smoking during pregnancy is stupid and harmful, but nicotine does not cause the main damage.

According to the portal sсiencedaily.com, photosensitive retinal ganglion cells were discovered only 10 years ago when scientists were able to prove the effect of spontaneous electrical activity of the eye during fetal development in the womb. As it turned out, the development of the retina is key to building true brain networks for subsequent image processing. In order to prove this, a graduate student from California had to combine two-photon calcium imaging, electrical recording of whole cells, and pharmacology, which, coupled with the use of some anatomical methods, led to the opening of gap junctions of some parts of the brain, not only capable of detecting light, but and responsive to its intensity.