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Developmental Psychobiology

Valentina Proietti, Marta Rigoldi, Emanuela Croci, Viola Macchi Cassia
During the first year of life face discrimination abilities narrow toward adult human faces of the most frequently encountered ethnic group/s. Earlier studies showed that perceptual learning under laboratory-training protocols can modulate this narrowing process. Here we investigated whether natural experience acquired in everyday settings with an older sibling's face can shape the trajectory of perceptual narrowing towards adult faces. Using an infant-controlled habituation procedure we measured discrimination of adult (Experiment 1) and child faces (Experiment 2) in 3- and 9- month-old infants with and without a child sibling...
March 12, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Stephanie M Merwin, Chelsey Barrios, Victoria C Smith, Edward P Lemay, Lea R Dougherty
This study examined the impact of parent-child attunement of morning cortisol on parenting and child outcomes in dyads with and without parental depression. Participants included 142 parent-child dyads (3-5 years-old) who provided morning cortisol samples at Wave 1, and 98 dyads returned for the 3-year follow-up at Wave 2. Results indicated that for parents with a history of depression and for female children, stronger attunement predicted increases in parental hostility from Wave 1 to Wave 2. For females only, stronger attunement was related to children's depressive symptoms at Wave 1 and Wave 2...
March 12, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Olena Vasylenko, Marta M Gorecka, Claudia Rodríguez-Aranda
This study aimed to better characterize age-related differences in dexterity by using an integrative approach where movement times and kinematics were measured for both hands. Forty-five young (age 19-31) and 55 healthy older adults (age 60-88) were evaluated during unimanual and bimanual performance of the Purdue Pegboard Test. Gender effects were also assessed. From video-recorded data, movement times and kinematics were obtained for reaching, grasping, transport, and inserting. Results showed that older adults had longer movement times for grasping and inserting with the right hand, and across all movements with the left hand...
March 12, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Stephen M Siviy
Play is an important part of normal childhood development and seen in many mammals, including rats. To better understand the interplay between genotype and postnatal experiences, the effects of neonatal handling on play were assessed in Lewis (LEW) and Fischer 344 (F344) rats. Handled litters experienced brief periods of separation during the first two postnatal weeks. F344 rats were less likely to direct nape contacts toward an untreated Sprague-Dawley (SD) partner and less likely to rotate to a supine position in response to a nape contact...
March 9, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Olena Vasylenko, Marta M Gorecka, Claudia Rodríguez-Aranda
Currently, little is known about the cognitive constraints underlying manual dexterity decline in aging. Here, we assessed the relationship between cognitive function and dexterity in 45 young and 55 healthy older adults. Effects of gender on the cognition-dexterity association were also explored. Cognitive assessment comprised neuropsychological tests of executive function, working memory, attention, and memory. Dexterity assessment included evaluation of movement times and kinematics during performance of unimanual and bimanual tasks of the Purdue Pegboard Test...
March 2, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Emily W Shih, Laura E Quiñones-Camacho, Elizabeth L Davis
Parenting practices play a major role in socializing children's developing regulatory abilities, but less is known about how parents' regulatory abilities relate to children's healthy functioning. This study examined whether parents' physiological and emotion regulation abilities corresponded to children's physiological and emotional responding to a structured laboratory-based disappointment task. Ninety-seven 3- to 7-year-olds (56 girls; M = 5.79 years) and one parent participated in a multi-method assessment of parents' and children's regulatory functioning...
February 24, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
David J Lewkowicz, Mark A Schmuckler, Diane M J Mangalindan
Recursive, hierarchically organized serial patterns provide the underlying structure in many cognitive and motor domains including speech, language, music, social interaction, and motor action. We investigated whether learning of hierarchical patterns emerges in infancy by habituating 204 infants to different hierarchical serial patterns and then testing for discrimination and generalization of such patterns. Results indicated that 8- to 10-month-old and 12- to 14-month-old infants exhibited sensitivity to the difference between hierarchical and non-hierarchical structure but that 4- to 6-month-old infants did not...
February 19, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Kristie L Poole, Diane L Santesso, Ryan J Van Lieshout, Louis A Schmidt
Asymmetric frontal brain activity is thought to reflect individual differences in approach- and avoidance-oriented motivation and emotional experience. Using a prospective longitudinal design, the authors investigated whether trajectories of frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry in children (Mage = 6.39 years at enrollment) predicted subjective, behavioral, and autonomic indices of socioemotional processes. Resting frontal EEG activity was measured across four separate repeated assessments spanning approximately 2 years...
February 19, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Kyle W Murdock, Annina Seiler, Diana A Chirinos, Luz M Garcini, Sally L Acebo, Sheldon Cohen, Christopher P Fagundes
Low subjective social status (SSS) in childhood places one at greater risk of a number of health problems in adulthood. Theoretical and empirical evidence indicates that exposure to supportive parenting may buffer the negative effects of low childhood SSS on adult health. Given the importance of supportive caregivers and close others for the development of attachment orientations throughout the lifespan, attachment theory may be important for understanding why some individuals are resilient to the negative effects of low childhood SSS on adult health while others are not...
February 16, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Michele R Brumley, Riana Hoagland, Melissa Truong, Scott R Robinson
Previous research has revealed that fetuses detect and respond to extrauterine stimuli such as maternal movement and speech, but little attention has been cast on how fetuses may directly influence and respond to each other in the womb. This study investigated whether motor activity of E20 rat fetuses influenced the behavior of siblings in utero. Three experiments showed that; (a) contiguous siblings expressed a higher frequency of synchronized movement than noncontiguous siblings; (b) fetuses that lay between two siblings immobilized with curare showed less movement relative to fetuses between saline or uninjected controls; and (c) fetuses between two siblings behaviorally activated by the opioid agonist U50,488 also showed less activity and specific behavioral changes compared to controls...
February 14, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Daniel O Popoola, Nicole M Cameron
This study investigated the effect of maternal care on adolescent ethanol consumption, sensitivity to ethanol-induced hypnosis, as well as gonadal hormones and γ-aminobutyric acid type-A (GABAA) systems. Long Evans rat dams were categorized by maternal licking/grooming (LG) frequency into High- and Low-LG mothers. Both female and male offspring from Low-LG rats demonstrated a greater sensitivity to ethanol-induced hypnosis in the loss-of-righting-reflex test at ethanol doses of 3.0 and 3.5 g/kg during late-adolescence (postnatal Day 50) but not at mid-adolescence (postnatal Day 42)...
February 14, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Sara M Scharoun Benson, Eric A Roy, Pamela J Bryden
The movement context (pantomime, pantomime with image/object as guide, and actual use) has been shown to influence end-state comfort-the propensity to prioritize a comfortable final hand position over an initially comfortable one-across the lifespan. The present study aimed to assess how the movement context (pantomime, using a dowel as the tool, and actual use) influences end-state comfort when acting with objects (glass/hammer) that differ in use-dependent experience. Children (ages 6-11, n = 70), young adults (n = 21), and older adults (n = 21) picked up an overturned glass to pour water and a hammer to hit a nail, where the handle faced away from the participant...
February 7, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Rachel G Lucas-Thompson, Kimberly L Henry, Charlotte J McKernan
The goal of the current study was to examine the extent to which cortisol responding to an acute stressor is related to diurnal cortisol patterns during adolescence. Participants were 105 adolescents (10-17 years of age) who experienced a robust social-evaluative stressor and provided saliva samples (before and immediately after, as well as 10, 20, and 30 min after the stressor) to assess both cortisol reactivity and recovery and also provided saliva samples (at wake-up, 30 min after wake-up, 4 pm, and at bedtime) on two consecutive days to measure diurnal cortisol production...
February 7, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Jenalee R Doom, Stephanie H Cook, Julie Sturza, Niko Kaciroti, Ashley N Gearhardt, Delia M Vazquez, Julie C Lumeng, Alison L Miller
Childhood poverty is hypothesized to increase risk for mental and physical health problems at least in part through dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. However, less is known about the specific psychosocial stressors associated with cortisol reactivity and regulation for children living in poverty. The current study investigates negative life events, household chaos, and family conflict in preschool and middle childhood as potential predictors of cortisol regulation in low-income 7-10 year olds (N = 242; M age = 7...
February 1, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Kaitlyn Breiner, Anfei Li, Alexandra O Cohen, Laurence Steinberg, Richard J Bonnie, Elizabeth S Scott, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Marc D Rudolph, Jason Chein, Jennifer A Richeson, Danielle V Dellarco, Damien A Fair, B J Casey, Adriana Galván
Developmental scientists have examined the independent effects of peer presence, social cues, and rewards on adolescent decision-making and cognitive control. Yet, these contextual factors often co-occur in real world social situations. The current study examined the combined effects of all three factors on cognitive control, and its underlying neural circuitry, using a task to better capture adolescents' real world social interactions. A sample of 176 participants ages 13-25, was scanned while performing an adapted go/no-go task alone or in the presence of a virtual peer...
February 1, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Leire Zubiaurre-Elorza, Annika C Linke, Charlotte Herzmann, Conor J Wild, Hester Duffy, David S C Lee, Victor K Han, Rhodri Cusack
Assessing language development in the first postnatal year is difficult, as receptive and expressive skills are rudimentary. Although outward manifestations of change are limited, the auditory language system is thought to undergo critical development at this age, as the foundations are laid for the rapid onset of spoken language in the second and third years. We recruited 11 infants, 7 healthy controls (gestational age = 40.69 ± 0.56; range from 40 to 41.43) and preterm babies (gestational age = 28...
January 22, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Peter Walker, James Gavin Bremner, Marco Lunghi, Sarah Dolscheid, Beatrice D Barba, Francesca Simion
Amodal (redundant) and arbitrary cross-sensory feature associations involve the context-insensitive mapping of absolute feature values across sensory domains. Cross-sensory associations of a different kind, known as correspondences, involve the context-sensitive mapping of relative feature values. Are such correspondences in place at birth (like amodal associations), or are they learned from subsequently experiencing relevant feature co-occurrences in the world (like arbitrary associations)? To decide between these two possibilities, human newborns (median age = 44 hr) watched animations in which two balls alternately rose and fell together in space...
January 22, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Anna Truzzi, Jessie Poquérusse, Peipei Setoh, Kazuyuki Shinohara, Marc H Bornstein, Gianluca Esposito
The oxytocinergic system is highly involved in social bonding and early caregiver-infant interactions. Here, we hypothesize that oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene genotype and parental bonding history interact in influencing social development. To address this question, we assessed adult males' arousal (heart rate changes) in response to different distress vocalizations (human female, human infant and bonobo). Region rs53576 of the OXTR gene was genotyped from buccal mucosa cell samples, and a self-report Parental Bonding Instrument was used (which provide information about parental care or parental overprotection)...
January 22, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Janice M Kan, Rick Richardson
A rodent model was used to explore whether mothers that experienced a postnatal stressor in the past (i.e., daily separations from her previous litter) exhibited altered maternal behavior during a typical, subsequent rearing experience. Stress-naïve female rats were bred and then separated from their pups (maternal separation) or remained with their pups (standard-rearing). After those pups were weaned, mothers were bred again with all pups from the subsequent litter being standard-reared. In the first week of life, various maternal behaviors directed towards these subsequent offspring were observed, including levels of nursing and pup retrieval...
January 22, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Ryan J Giuliano, Leslie E Roos, Jessica D Farrar, Elizabeth A Skowron
A child's cumulative risk for early exposure to stress has been linked to alterations of self-regulation outcomes, including neurobiological correlates of inhibitory control (IC). We examined whether children's ability to engage the parasympathetic nervous system impacts how risk affects IC. Children ages 3-5 years completed two laboratory measures of IC while respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was measured, indexing parasympathetic activity. Children with greater risk demonstrated lower IC; risk also moderated associations between RSA reactivity and IC...
January 18, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
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