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Developmental Psychobiology

Mikko J Peltola, Tiina Mäkelä, E Juulia Paavonen, Elina Vierikko, Outi Saarenpää-Heikkilä, Tiina Paunio, Jari K Hietanen, Anneli Kylliäinen
Maternal prenatal anxiety is associated with infants' temperamental negative affectivity (NA), but it is unclear to what extent children vary in their susceptibility to prenatal influences. We tested a hypothesis that infants' respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an index of parasympathetic vagal tone and a potential marker of differential susceptibility to environmental influences, moderates the effects of maternal prenatal anxiety on the development of infant NA. Prenatal anxiety was assessed during the last trimester of pregnancy in a low-risk community sample...
October 20, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Joseph R Isler, Tracy Thai, Michael M Myers, William P Fifer
A novel quantitative method for coding epochs of active and quiet sleep in infants using respiration is reported. The approach uses the variance of the instantaneous breathing rate within brief epochs of sleep. Variances are normalized within subject by dividing by the 75th percentile variance across epochs. Then, a normalized variance active sleep threshold of 0.29 was determined to produce the highest concordance with a method based on visual inspection of respiratory variability (100% and 90% for quiet and active sleep, respectively)...
October 20, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Noa Gueron-Sela, Cathi B Propper, Nicholas J Wagner, Marie Camerota, Kristin P Tully, Ginger A Moore
This study examined the direct and interactive effects of infants' respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and maternal depressive symptoms (MDS) during the first 6 months of life in the prediction of children's sleep problems at age 18 months. Participants included 156 children and their mothers who were followed from 3 to 18 months of age. At ages 3 and 6 months, infants' cardiac activity was recorded at rest and during the still-face paradigm, a mother-child social challenge task, and estimates of infant baseline RSA (RSAB) and RSA withdrawal (RSAW) were calculated...
October 18, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Farfalla Ribordy Lambert, Pierre Lavenex, Pamela Banta Lavenex
Allocentric spatial memory, "where" with respect to the surrounding environment, is one of the three fundamental components of episodic memory: what, where, when. Whereas basic allocentric spatial memory abilities are reliably observed in children after 2 years of age, coinciding with the offset of infantile amnesia, the resolution of allocentric spatial memory acquired over repeated trials improves from 2 to 4 years of age. Here, we first show that single-trial allocentric spatial memory performance improves in children from 3...
October 7, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Heather A Molenda-Figueira, Margaret R Bell, Kayla C De Lorme, Cheryl L Sisk
This study examined the effects of pubertal testosterone (T) and social housing manipulations on male sexual behavior in adult rats. Prepubertal rats were castrated at 21 days of age (P21) and implanted with either blank or T-releasing pellets. At the onset of puberty, P28, half the rats in each treatment group were either single- or pair-housed with a male of the same hormone condition through P56, at which time pellets were removed and all rats were single-housed. In adulthood (P84), all rats received T replacement and were tested for sexual behavior...
October 7, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Caitlin E O'Brien, Nawel Mezrai, Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq, Ludovic Dickel
Though a mollusc, the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis possesses a sophisticated brain, advanced sensory systems, and a large behavioral repertoire. Cuttlefish provide a unique perspective on animal behavior due to their phylogenic distance from more traditional (vertebrate) models. S. officinalis is well-suited to addressing questions of behavioral ontogeny. As embryos, they can perceive and learn from their environment and experience no direct parental care. A marked progression in learning and behavior is observed during late embryonic and early juvenile development...
October 7, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Eva R Kimonis, Natalie Goulter, David J Hawes, Rhonda R Wilbur, Maureen W Groer
The characteristic pattern of emotional hypo-reactivity observed in primary psychopathy is not evident in secondary psychopathy, which is thought to originate from childhood adversity and co-occurring anxiety. The main aim of this study was to test whether salivary afternoon cortisol, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and cortisol-to-DHEA concentrations, which at high levels indicate risk for chronic stress and poor mental health, distinguished secondary from primary variants of callous-unemotional (CU) traits-the affective component of psychopathy...
September 12, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Robin S Edelstein, William J Chopik, Darby E Saxbe, Britney M Wardecker, Amy C Moors, Onawa P LaBelle
During the transition to parenthood, both men and women experience hormone changes that are thought to promote parental care. Yet very few studies have explicitly tested the hypothesis that prenatal hormone changes are associated with postpartum parenting behavior. In a longitudinal study of 27 first-time expectant couples, we assessed whether prenatal hormone changes were moderated by self- and partner-reported parenting outcomes at 3 months postpartum. Expectant fathers showed prenatal declines in testosterone and estradiol, and larger declines in these hormones were associated with greater contributions to household and infant care tasks postpartum...
September 8, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Alison L Miller, Ju-Hyun Song, Julie Sturza, Julie C Lumeng, Katherine Rosenblum, Niko Kaciroti, Delia M Vazquez
Biological and social influences both shape emotion regulation. In 380 low-income children, we tested whether biological stress profile (cortisol) moderated the association among positive and negative home environment factors (routines; chaos) and emotion regulation (negative lability; positive regulation). Children (M age = 50.6, SD = 6.4 months) provided saliva samples to assess diurnal cortisol parameters across 3 days. Parents reported on home environment and child emotion regulation. Structural equation modeling was used to test whether cortisol parameters moderated associations between home environment and child emotion regulation...
September 4, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Yuliya I Kuras, Christine M McInnis, Myriam V Thoma, Xuejie Chen, Luke Hanlin, Danielle Gianferante, Nicolas Rohleder
Childhood adversity is highly prevalent and linked to lasting psychological and physiological consequences. A potential mechanism for negative health outcomes is altered stress reactivity. While previous research has addressed associations of childhood adversity with stress system reactivity, sympathetic nervous system (SNS) stress reactivity is understudied. We therefore set out here to examining salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) reactivity in relation with childhood adversity. Forty-one healthy adult subjects (n = 24 male; n = 17 female) aged 18-34 years underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ)...
August 30, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Sunghye Cho, Lauren E Philbrook, Elizabeth L Davis, Kristin A Buss
Although the conceptual interplay among the biological and clinical features of sleep, arousal, and emotion regulation has been noted, little is understood about how indices of sleep duration and parasympathetic reactivity operate jointly to predict adjustment in early childhood. Using a sample of 123 toddlers, the present study examined sleep duration and RSA reactivity as predictors of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Parents reported on children's sleep duration and adjustment. RSA reactivity was assessed via children's responses to fear-eliciting stimuli and an inhibitory control challenge...
August 30, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Mary E Goldsberry, John H Freeman
The developmental emergence of delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is dependent on the development of the sensory system stimulated by the conditioned stimulus (CS). However, trace EBC has traditionally been believed to be dependent on the development of forebrain structures, such as the hippocampus. If hippocampal development alone is limiting the developmental emergence of trace EBC, then using an earlier developing sensory modality should not affect the rate or asymptote of conditioning. The goal of the current study was to investigate whether using a vibration CS would facilitate the ontogeny of trace EBC relative to an auditory CS...
August 19, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
María Belén Acevedo, Ana Fabiola Macchione, Florencia Anunziata, Olga Beatriz Haymal, Juan Carlos Molina
Different studies have focused on the deleterious consequences of binge-like or chronic exposure to ethanol during the brain growth spurt period (third human gestational trimester) that in the rat corresponds to postnatal days (PDs) 3-10. The present study analyzed behavioral and physiological disruptions caused by relatively brief binge-like exposures (PDs 3, 5, and 7) with an ethanol dose lower (3.0 g/kg) than those frequently employed to examine teratological effects during this stage in development. At PD 9, pups were exposed to ethanol doses ranging between ...
August 19, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Brendan D Ostlund, Jeffrey R Measelle, Heidemarie K Laurent, Elisabeth Conradt, Jennifer C Ablow
The foundations of emotion regulation are organized, in part, through repeated interactions with one's caregiver in infancy. Less is known about how stress physiology covaries between a mother and her infant within these interactions, leaving a gap in our understanding of how the biological basis of emotion regulation develops. This study investigated physiological attunement between mothers and their 5-month-old infants, as well as the influence of maternal depression and anxiety, during stress recovery. During the reengagement phase of the Still Face Paradigm, mother-infant dyads exhibited negative attunement, as measured by inverse covariation of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA)...
August 2, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Masoumeh Nozari, Toshimitsu Suzuki, Marcello G P Rosa, Kazuhiro Yamakawa, Nafiseh Atapour
Plasticity of the axon initial segment (AIS) is a newly discovered type of structural plasticity that regulates cell excitability. AIS plasticity has been reported to happen during normal development of neocortex and also in a few pathological conditions involving disruption of the inhibition/excitation balance. Here we report on the impact of early environmental interventions on structural plasticity of AIS in the mouse neocortex. C57BL/6 mice were raised in standard or enriched environment (EE) from birth up to the time of experiments and were injected with saline or MK-801 [N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, 1 mg/kg] on postnatal days (P) 6-10...
July 30, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Megan Flom, Ashley M St John, Jerrold S Meyer, Amanda R Tarullo
Early chronic stress has enduring implications for physical and mental health outcomes. Hair cortisol concentration (HCC) has emerged as a marker of cumulative cortisol exposure, yet HCC in infants is not well understood. We examined how infant HCC relates to widely used basal salivary cortisol measures, maternal HCC, and environmental context in 111 infants assessed at 6 and 12 months of age. Maternal HCC at 6 and 12 months was correlated with infant HCC at 12 months. At 12 months, infant HCC was positively associated with waking salivary cortisol concentration (SCC), evening SCC, and area under the curve (AUC), but was independent of diurnal slope...
July 30, 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Amanda R Tarullo, Joseph R Isler, Carmen Condon, Kimon Violaris, Peter D Balsam, William P Fifer
Using an eyelid conditioning paradigm modeled after that developed by Little, Lipsitt, and Rovee-Collier (1984), Fifer et al. (2010) demonstrated that newborn infants learn during sleep. This study examined the role of sleep state in neonatal learning. We recorded electroencephalogram (EEG), respiratory, and cardiovascular activity from sleeping full term newborn infants during delay eyelid conditioning. In the experimental group (n = 21), a tone was paired with an air puff to the eye. Consistent with Fifer et al...
November 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Ashley Galati, Alyson Hock, Ramesh S Bhatt
Configural information (spacing between features) contributes to face-processing expertise in adulthood. We examined whether infants can be "trained" to process this information. In Experiment 1, 3.5-month-olds failed to discriminate changes in the spacing between facial features. However, in Experiments 2 and 3, infants processed the same information after being primed with faces in which the spacing was repeatedly altered. Experiment 4 found that priming was not effective with inverted faces or with faces depicting changes in features but not relations among features, indicating that the priming exhibited in Experiments 2 and 3 was specific to upright faces depicting spacing changes...
November 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Audrey M B Wong-Kee-You, Scott A Adler
Advances in our understanding of long-term memory in early infancy have been made possible by studies that have used the Rovee-Collier's mobile conjugate reinforcement paradigm and its variants. One function that has been attributed to long-term memory is the formation of expectations (Rovee-Collier & Hayne, 1987); consequently, a long-term memory representation should be established during expectation formation. To examine this prediction and potentially open the door on a new paradigm for exploring infants' long-term memory, using the Visual Expectation Paradigm (Haith, Hazan, & Goodman, 1988), 3-month-old infants were trained to form an expectation for predictable color and spatial information of picture events and emit anticipatory eye movements to those events...
November 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Adam I Ramsaran, Hollie R Sanders, Mark E Stanton
Since the seminal report on novel object recognition in the rat (Ennaceur & Delacour, 1988), novelty recognition paradigms have become increasingly prevalent in learning and memory research. Novelty recognition tasks do not require extensive training or complex behaviors, and thus are especially suitable for studying the ontogeny of various forms of memory (e.g., object, spatial, and contextual memory). However, relatively little is known about the determinants of recognition memory during development. The present study extends our recent research on the development of recognition memory by further characterizing the ontogeny of contextual recognition (Ramsaran, Westbrook, & Stanton, 2016)...
November 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
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