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Their study of 13 newborns found that hiccupping triggered brain activity that might help infants "learn how to monitor the breathing muscles," eventually resulting in the ability to control breathing voluntarily, study senior author Lorenzo Fabrizi, University College London, U.K., said in a statement, CNN reported.
"When we are born, the circuits which process body sensations are not fully developed, so the establishment of such networks is a crucial developmental milestone for newborns," he explained.
The researchers noted that hiccuping is common among fetuses and newborns, and begins as early as nine weeks into pregnancy, CNN reported.
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