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Developmental Psychobiology

Vincenzo P Senese, Maria C Miranda, Simona De Falco, Paola Venuti, Marc H Bornstein
This study (a) investigates effects of the transition to motherhood on implicit and explicit responses to infant cues; (b) assesses influences of prior parenting and delivery experiences on implicit and explicit responses to infant cues; and (c) investigates relations between implicit and explicit responses to infant cues and parenting beliefs. A total of 45 pregnant women were followed from the sixth month of pregnancy to the third month after the childbirth and were administered a Single Category Implicit Association Test, a semantic differential scale, the Adult Parental Acceptance-Rejection scale, and the Parental Style Questionnaire...
September 14, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Kate Keenan, Alison E Hipwell, Quetzal A Class, Kimberley Mbayiwa
The concept of the developmental origins of health and disease via prenatal programming has informed many etiologic models of health and development. Extensive experimental research in non-human animal models has revealed the impact of in utero exposure to stress on fetal development and neurodevelopment later in life. Stress exposure, however, is unlikely to occur de novo following conception, and pregnancy health is not independent of the health of the system prior to conception. For these reasons, the preconception period is emerging as an important new focus for research on adverse birth outcomes and offspring neurodevelopment...
August 24, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Kristie L Poole, Louis A Schmidt
Although shyness is characterized by distinct psychophysiological correlates, we know very little about the development of these correlates. In this longitudinal study, we examined how children's shyness was associated with trajectories of heart period (HP) to socioaffective threat across four assessments spanning approximately 2 years. Children (Mage  = 6.39 years) viewed age-appropriate, socioaffective videos at each visit while having their HP measured concurrently. A growth curve analysis revealed that low shy children had a relatively lower HP at enrollment, but experienced increases in HP across visits, while high shy children exhibited relatively stable low HP across visits while viewing threat-related socioaffective video stimuli...
August 20, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Erin L Kinnally, Mireille N Gonzalez, John P Capitanio
The effects of early stress may not be limited to the exposed generation, but are sometimes passed on to subsequent generations. Such non-genetic transgenerational inheritance is a potentially important developmental and evolutionary force. We compared the transgenerational effects of maternal and paternal line early stress on anxiety- and health-related traits in three non-exposed generations (F1, F2 and F3) of semi-naturalistically raised rhesus macaques. As infants, F0 macaques were exposed to nursery rearing (NR) or semi-naturalistic social conditions (CONTROL)...
August 13, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Florian Kurth, Eileen Luders, Lauren Pigdon, Gina Conti-Ramsden, Sheena Reilly, Angela T Morgan
Developmental language disorder (DLD) and speech sound disorder (SSD) are common, and although scientific evidence for structural and functional alterations in DLD/SSD is accumulating, current neuroimaging studies provide an incongruent picture. Here, we hypothesized that children affected by DLD and SSD present with gray matter (or gray matter asymmetry) aberrations in brain areas associated with language processing compared to typically developing (TD) children. To assess this hypothesis, we enhanced MRI-based information with microscopically defined cytoarchitectonic probabilities of Broca's area (BA 45, BA 44) as well as an auditory area (TE 3...
August 13, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Pauline Pan, Daeria O Lawson, Aya Dudin, Oscar E Vasquez, Marla B Sokolowski, Alison S Fleming, Patrick O McGowan
Rat dams differ naturally in the level of maternal care they provide to their offspring within the same litter. We explored possible mechanisms of differential maternal care focused on genetic variation. We examined single nucleotide polymorphisms in the glucocorticoid receptor, FK506-binding protein, and serotonin transporter genes in two separate cohorts, and the relationship between differential maternal care received, genotype, and offspring phenotype. Allelic variation in all three genes was significantly associated with levels of maternal care received by offspring and behavioral and endocrine stress responses in adulthood...
August 12, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Gabrielle Simcock, David P Laplante, Guillaume Elgbeili, Sue Kildea, Suzanne King
This prospective, longitudinal cohort study examined the effects of flood-related stress in pregnancy on the trajectory of children's motor development; and the moderating effects of gestational timing of the flood or sex of the child. Women who were pregnant during a severe flood reported on their objective flood-related experiences, emotional reactions, and cognitive appraisal of the disaster. At 2-, 6-, 16-months, 2½- and 4-years postpartum, mothers' assessed their children's fine and gross motor development using the Ages and Stages-3 Questionnaire...
August 10, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Christine L Morton, Geoff Hinch, Alison Small, Paul G McDonald
The neonate distress cry, which displays a similar acoustic structure across a range of mammalian species, is highly effective in attracting, even compelling, parental care. However, if this cry is defective, as found in human and rodent neonates with poor neurobehavioral function, is the signal less enticing? Using playback recordings of a ewe's own co-twins as stimuli in a two choice test, we compared the preference of each sheep dam for acoustic features of lamb distress calls to assess the impact of signal quality on maternal response...
August 10, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Caitlin S M Cowan, Rick Richardson
Puberty marks the beginning of a period of dramatic physical, hormonal, and social change. This instability has made adolescence infamous as a time of "storm and stress" and it is well-established that stress during adolescence can be particularly damaging. However, prior stress may also shape the adolescent experience. In the present series of experiments, we observed sex-specific effects of early-life maternal separation stress on the timing of puberty onset in the rat. Specifically, stressed females exhibited earlier pubertal onset compared to standard-reared females, whereas stressed males matured later than their standard-reared counterparts...
July 24, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Amy T Peters, Katie L Burkhouse, Autumn Kujawa, Kaveh Afshar, Kate D Fitzgerald, Christopher S Monk, Greg Hajcak, K Luan Phan
Anxiety disorders are associated with enhanced error-related negativity (ERN) across development but it remains unclear whether alterations in brain electrophysiology are linked to the timing of puberty. Pubertal timing and alterations of prefrontal and limbic development are implicated in risk for depression, but the interplay of these factors on the ERN-anxiety association has not been assessed. We examined the unique and interactive effects of pubertal timing and depression on the ERN in a sample of youth 10-19 years old with anxiety disorders (n = 30) or no history of psychopathology (n = 30)...
July 24, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Mayra L Almanza-Sepulveda, Elsie Chico, Andrea Gonzalez, Geoffrey B Hall, Meir Steiner, Alison S Fleming
The aim of this study was to determine the impact of maternal age on executive function and the moderating effects of women's maternal status and early-life experiences. Four groups of women were assessed as a function of their age (teens vs. adults) and maternal status (mothers vs. nonmothers). Participants completed executive function tests, including Spatial Working Memory (SWM), Intra-Extra-Dimensional-Set-Shift (IED), and Stockings of Cambridge (SOC). Women also completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire to assess their experiences of early adversity...
July 24, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Benjamin Balas, Alyson Saville, Jamie Schmidt
During infancy, vision becomes tuned to environmental statistics. For example, infant face recognition "narrows" in response to the frequency of face categories in the visual world, inducing out-group effects that disadvantage other-race, other-species, and other-age face recognition. There are many other low-level statistical regularities in visual experience that infants may also become tuned to during this period. In particular, natural scenes have lawful properties that adults and children are sensitive to...
July 22, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
José A Zepeda, Amando Bautista, Marylin Rangassamy, Raquel Monclús, Celine Bocquet, Margarita Martínez-Gómez, Patrick Gouat, Christophe Féron, Robyn Hudson, Heiko G Rödel
We asked whether within-litter differences in early body mass are associated with differences in house mouse pups' thermogenic performance and whether such variation predicts individual differences in competitive interactions for thermally more advantageous positions in the huddle. We explored pups' thermogenic performance in isolation by measuring changes in (maximal) peripheral body temperatures during a 5-min thermal challenge using infrared thermography. Changes in peripheral body temperature were significantly explained by individual differences in body mass within a litter; relatively lighter individuals showed an overall quicker temperature decrease leading to lower body temperatures toward the end of the thermal challenge compared to heavier littermates...
July 11, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Katharine V Northcutt, Vesta C Nwankwo
Juvenile male rats frequently play more than female rats, but the presence of sex differences is affected by testing conditions and may also depend on the strain of rat. In this experiment, we tested play and defensive behaviors in male and female Long-Evans, Sprague-Dawley, and Wistar rats. When observed with a cage mate during the juvenile period, Long-Evans rats played more than Wistar animals, but there were no sex differences in any strain. When tested with an unfamiliar sibling (not seen since weaning), both Long-Evans and Wistar rats played more than Sprague-Dawley animals, and Long-Evans females played more than males...
July 3, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Anthea A Stylianakis, Sylvia K Harmon-Jones, Rick Richardson, Kathryn D Baker
Adolescence is thought of as a stress-sensitive developmental period. While many studies have compared adolescent responses to stress relative to that of adults, a growing body of work has examined stress responses in juveniles. Here we investigated if a chronic stressor has a differential effect on spatial memory in rats depending on whether it occurs during adolescence or the juvenile period. Male rats were exposed to the stress hormone corticosterone (Cort) in their drinking water, a vehicle control (2.5% ethanol), or water, for 7 days before being tested on a novel Object/Place task 6 days or 6 weeks later...
June 25, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Stassja Sichko, Jessica L Borelli, Patricia A Smiley, Alison Goldstein, Hannah F Rasmussen
Psychobiological convergence-the alignment of task-related changes in children's self-reported and physiological indices of reactivity-has recently emerged as a powerful correlate of children's attachment representations, but has not been explored for its association with children's self-reported attachment, with parents' attachment, or with respect to cardiovascular reactivity. The present study found that, within a diverse community sample of mothers and school-aged children (N = 104, Mage  = 10.31), the positive link between cardiovascular (respiratory sinus arrhythmia [RSA]) and subjective reactivity to a stressor was only significant among children with high levels of security and children of mothers with low levels of attachment avoidance and anxiety...
June 24, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Sierra Kuzava, Kristin Bernard
Parent-infant interaction is known to be influenced bidirectionally by parent and infant characteristics. However, it is unclear whether infant temperament affects parents' neural responses to infant stimuli. 85 infants (6-12 months) were filmed in distress-eliciting tasks, which were coded for infants' negative affect. Mothers' reported infant affect was obtained from the Infant Behavior Questionnaire Very Short Form-Revised. Mothers' EEG activity was recorded while passively viewing photos of own, familiarized, and unfamiliar infants...
June 24, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Sarah Kahle, Jonas G Miller, Jonathan L Helm, Paul D Hastings
Physiological recovery from negative emotions may be important for effective self-regulation, but little is known about recovery processes in children. The current study investigated links between autonomic physiology, anger expressions, and emotion regulation in a sample of eighty-three 3.5-year-olds. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia and pre-ejection period were measured during an anger induction task as parasympathetic and sympathetic indices, respectively. We examined whether preschoolers' anger expressions and emotion regulation behaviors were associated with individual differences in physiology...
June 21, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Christine Hechler, Roseriet Beijers, J Marianne Riksen-Walraven, Carolina de Weerth
The present longitudinal study is the first to investigate the association between human breast milk cortisol and infant crying over the first three months of life. Higher concentrations of breast milk cortisol were expected to be differentially associated with fussing and crying in boys and girls. At 2, 6, and 12 weeks of infant age, mothers (N = 70) collected a morning sample of their milk and kept a 3-day diary to measure infant fussing and crying. Cortisol was extracted and quantified from milk samples...
September 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Nicholas J Wagner, Paul D Hastings, Kenneth H Rubin
Substantial theoretical and empirical literature suggests that the extent to which children's early experiences contribute to the development of aggressive behaviors may depend on the psychophysiological regulatory capacities of the child. This study adds to this literature by examining the relations between mothers' rejecting child-rearing attitudes and children's aggressive behaviors, as well as whether children's parasympathetic regulation, both at rest and in response to anger-inducing films, moderate these links...
September 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
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