The human infant's neurophysiological responses to feeding
are poorly understood. We found recently a significant increase
of EEG amplitude in the newborn during nutritive feeding, but
not during pacifier sucking. In this study, we report EEG responses
to feeding in 13 infants at the ages of 3 and 6 months. The
undifferentiated response of the newborn was found to wane until
the age of 3 months, whereas in 6-month-old infants, relatively
abundant rhythmic 3–5 Hz theta activity was recorded during
feeding with an amplitude maximum in right posterior areas.
Cessation of feeding was followed by cessation of theta activity.
The rhythmic 3–5 Hz theta response to feeding is likely
to represent emotional arousal, as it is similar to previous
findings showing posterior theta increase in other settings
connected with emotional arousal in infants.