Fetal Facial Expression Research Update
In December Humintell blogged on new research, which posited that facial expressions begin in utero. The article entitled “Baby Face” delineated that several facial movements begin in the second trimester and enable the formation of all the elements of laughter by the 30th week of pregnancy.
This suggests that the smile is not a reflexive response mimicking a human behavior but rather an independent action.
The National Right to Life News Today has just released additional photos of facial expressions in the womb. These photos are extremely interesting as they highlight that smiles and perhaps laughter occur even early than thought at around 24 weeks.
Peter Tallack affirms in In the Womb for National Geographic that, “Whatever the fetus is feeling, at 20 weeks she is certainly capable of demonstrating lots of facial expressions. 4D scans have revealed babies not only grimacing but also seeming to smile and even laugh.”