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The effect of adipose tissue on light presented to the human fetus using Monte Carlo simulations
  • Zac Isaac,
  • Jacob Heerikhuisen,
  • Vincent Reid
Zac Isaac
The University of Waikato Department of Mathematics

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jacob Heerikhuisen
The University of Waikato Department of Mathematics
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Vincent Reid
The University of Waikato School of Psychology
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The extent to which external light sources illuminate the uterine environment is not completely known. Recent experimental work has indicated that the human fetus will respond to external visual stimuli, and initial modelling work has suggested that the fetus may not develop in a completely dark environment as previously thought. The development of the human visual system begins within the womb, and there is experimental motivation to explore the extent to which light penetrates maternal abdominal tissue. In this study, we develop and adapt a Monte Carlo model that simulates third trimester histological properties of maternal tissue in order to understand the extent to which the womb is illuminated by external point light sources. We next use the results of this mathematical modelling to determine approximate levels of third trimester uterine illumination and suggest improvements for future experimental work.