Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : When exposed to an unfamiliar and sudden noise, infant rodents may show an abrupt bradycardia, as part of a “fear-paralysis response”. The response is enhanced by body movements restraint. To investigate if this reaction is seen in humans, 15 normal infants with a median age of 12 weeks were studied polygraphically. They were exposed to a 100-dB (A) white noise, while sleeping in REM sleep. Each infant was studied in both “unrestrained” and “restrained’ conditions. Restraint of body movement was obtained by means of sand bags and tightly-binding bed sheets. During movement restraint, the infants had a significantly greater and earlier decrease in heart rate compared with during the unrestrained condition. No infant had a minimal heart rate less than 95 beats/min. The present observation raises questions about the possible unfavorable effects of tightly wrapped bed sheets around sleeping infants.