Developmental changes in salt acceptability in human infants

Dev Psychobiol. 1986 Jan;19(1):17-25. doi: 10.1002/dev.420190103.


Human infants less than 4 months of age ingested water and moderate concentrations of sodium chloride solution (0.10-0.20 M) in equal amounts. In contrast, infants 4-24 months of age exhibited heightened acceptance of saline solution relative to water. Such a developmental change in salt acceptability is consistent with a hypothesis of postnatal maturation of peripheral and/or central structures underlying this response. Children 31-60 months of age tended to reject saline solution relative to water. This change may in part reflect the effects of experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child Development
  • Female
  • Food Preferences*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Male
  • Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Saliva / physiology
  • Sodium Chloride*
  • Taste / physiology
  • Taste Buds / physiology


  • Sodium Chloride