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Advances in modern medicine in recent years have resulted in a remarkable increase in the number of human infants who survive a premature birth. Many of these infants undergo stressful perinatal and prenatal experiences, and require special care and attention in order for their physical and mental development to be optimal. If that goal is to be met, care-givers need to receive feedback from the infants, indicating how they are affected by treatment and stimulation. In this study, preterm infants displayed behavioral differentiation of various tactile stimuli. A number of behaviors are highlighted, which are indicative of physiological integration of environmental stimuli, and which can be used by care-givers as guides in their interaction with the infants.
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Ruth Litovsky, M.A.
Ruth Litovsky received her B.S. in psychology and M.S. in neuropsychology, both from Washington University in St. Louis. There she investigated development of infants "atrisk". She is currently a Ph. D. candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, working on auditory development in infants. Address: Department of Psychology, Tobin Hall, Amherst, MA 01003.
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