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Abstract

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.