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Developmental Psychobiology

Maja Nyström-Hansen, Marianne S Andersen, Jennifer E Khoury, Kirstine Davidsen, Andrew Gumley, Karlen Lyons-Ruth, Angus MacBeth, Susanne Harder
Existing literature points to the possibility that cortisol could be one link between maternal adversity and poorer parenting quality, but most studies have examined salivary cortisol concentrations rather than hair cortisol concentrations. The current study examined hair cortisol concentration (HCC) during the third trimester of pregnancy as a mediator between maternal adversity indicators (childhood abuse, severe mental illness, symptomatic functioning) and maternal caregiving behavior at 4 months postpartum...
February 12, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Nicole B Perry, Bonny Donzella, Anna M Parenteau, Christopher Desjardins, Megan R Gunnar
In the current study, we compared emotion regulation abilities between post-institutionalized (PI; N = 124) and never-institutionalized non-adopted (NA; N = 172) children and adolescents (7-15 years). We assessed cortisol reactivity and coded emotion regulation during the speech portion of Trier Social Stress Test (TSST-M). Parents reported on their children's social, academic, and behavioral adjustment. Results suggest that emotion regulation abilities increased with age, but this increase was greater for NA than PI youth...
February 12, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Cindy H Liu, Stacey N Doan
Much of the existing research on biological mechanisms underlying the stress experience has focused largely on moment-to-moment stress, rather than on chronic stress, an arguably more powerful predictor of long-term outcomes. Recent methodological innovations have paved the way for new lines of research on chronic stress, with promising implications for developmental researchers and for those who study health and adversity. In particular, there are increasing studies that have focused on chronic stress assessments by relying on cortisol derived from hair and nails as a biomarker for chronic stress...
February 10, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Lixian Cui, Xutong Zhang, Benjamin J Houltberg, Michael M Criss, Amanda S Morris
This study assessed adolescent respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) reactivity while watching a bullying film clip from Boyz'n the Hood. We emphasized the importance of considering measurement context of RSA and examined whether RSA reactivity moderated the links between environmental factors (i.e., neighborhood violence, parental psychological control, and parental acceptance) and adolescent social adjustment. Data were collected from 57 adolescents and their primary caregivers. Electrocardiogram (ECG) and respiration data were obtained from adolescents...
February 10, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Renate S M Buisman, Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg, Katharina Pittner, Laura H C G Compier-de Block, Lisa J M van den Berg, Marinus H van IJzendoorn, Marieke S Tollenaar, Bernet M Elzinga, Jolanda Lindenberg, Lenneke R A Alink
Although childhood maltreatment has been shown to compromise adaptive parental behavior, little is known what happens in terms of physiological regulation when parents with a history of childhood maltreatment interact with their offspring. Using a sample of 229 parents (131 women), the present study examined whether childhood maltreatment experiences are associated with parents' behavioral and autonomic responses while resolving conflict with their offspring. Self-reported experienced child maltreatment was measured using a questionnaire assessing abuse and neglect...
February 6, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Reout Arbel, Hannah L Schacter, Sohyun C Han, Adela C Timmons, Lauren Spies Shapiro, Gayla Margolin
This study investigates bidirectional associations between adolescents' daily experiences of victimization and aggression perpetration within friendships. We investigated (a) across-day associations between victimization and aggression perpetration; (b) morning cortisol activity as a moderator of cross-day victimization and aggression links; and (c) potential sex differences in these patterns. For 4 consecutive days, 99 adolescents (Mage  = 18.06, SD = 1.09, 46 females) reported whether they were victimized by or aggressive toward their friends...
January 30, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Amy L D'Agata, Jing Wu, Manushi K V Welandawe, Samia V O Dutra, Bradley Kane, Maureen W Groer
Succession of gut microbial community structure for newborns is highly influenced by early life factors. Many preterm infants cared for in the NICU are exposed to parent-infant separation, stress, and pain from medical care procedures. The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of early life stress on the trajectory of gut microbial structure. Stool samples from very preterm infants were collected weekly for 6 weeks. NICU stress exposure data were collected daily for 6 weeks. V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by PCR and sequenced...
January 30, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Jessica Flannery, Bridget Callaghan, Thomas Sharpton, Philip Fisher, Jennifer Pfeifer
Gut microbial research has recently opened new frontiers in neuroscience and potentiated novel therapies for mental health problems (Mayer, et al., 2014). Much of our understanding of the gut microbiome's role in brain function and behavior, however, has been largely derived from research on nonhuman animals. Even less is known about how the development of the gut microbiome influences critical periods of neural and behavioral development, particularly adolescence. In this review, we first discuss why the gut microbiome has become increasingly relevant to developmental cognitive neuroscience and provide a synopsis of the known connections of the gut microbiome with social-affective brain function and behavior, specifically highlighting human developmental work when possible...
January 28, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Soaleha Shams, Kelly A Foley, Martin Kavaliers, Derrick F MacFabe, Klaus-Peter Ossenkopp
The role of the gut microbiome and its enteric metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), in the etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has recently received increased attention. Of particular interest has been the SCFA, propionic acid (PPA). Several different rodent models have been developed using PPA treatment to examine behaviors of relevance to ASD. The effects of systemic (intraperitoneal, i.p.) administration of PPA on social behavior, anxiety-related behavior, and locomotor activity in juvenile male rats (age 35 days) were examined in this study...
January 28, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Itsuka Kamimura, Akiyuki Watarai, Takuma Takamura, Atsushi Takeo, Kyoko Miura, Hidetoshi Morita, Kazutaka Mogi, Takefumi Kikusui
The host microbial community is thought to have an important role in the host endocrine system and behavioral phenotype. We investigated chronological changes of levels of gonadal hormones and corticosterone in the feces of 4- to 8-week-old female germ-free (GF) mice, and conducted odor preference test at 8 weeks of age. We further evaluated the developmental impact of the microbial community by analyzing 4-week-old GF mice orally administered the fecal microbiota of specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice or guinea pigs (GF-SPF mice or GF-Guinea pig mice)...
January 24, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Morgan R Firestein, Michael M Myers, Judy Austin, Raymond I Stark, Joseph L Barone, Robert J Ludwig, Martha G Welch
Early exposure to antibiotics has been shown to increase risk for poor neurobehavioral development, particularly with regard to attention deficit disorders. Clinically, electroencephalography (EEG) is increasingly used as a biomarker of these deficits. Less is known about the effects of antibiotics on neurobehavioral and neurophysiological outcomes in preterm infants, a population at particularly high risk for attention deficits and perinatal antibiotic exposure. This study examines the effects of perinatal antibiotic exposure on neonatal EEG and attention deficits as measured by the Child Behavior Checklist in 4- to 5-year-old children who were enrolled in an NICU-based randomized controlled trial comparing Family Nurture Intervention (FNI) to standard care...
January 22, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Krysta Andrews, Andrea Gonzalez
Early adversities, such as poverty, maternal stress, and malnutrition, can affect the structure and functioning of the developing brain with implications for biological systems such as the intestinal microbiota. To date, most studies examining the impact of these risk factors on the development and functioning of the intestinal microbiota have primarily been conducted in high-income countries. However, arguably, children in low- and middle-income countries may be at increased risk given cumulative biological and psychosocial adversities during their development...
January 21, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Bonnie E Brett, Carolina de Weerth
Fostering healthy developmental growth in the first years of life is associated with numerous favorable cognitive, social, and economic outcomes. Funding and promoting research aimed at identifying potential targets for early intervention should be a top priority for lawmakers and funders. One promising avenue of research and potential early intervention is the microbiota-gut-brain axis. In this report, we briefly examine the role of the gut microbiota in human life, focusing on links with health, cognition, and behavior...
January 14, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Janice M Kan, Caitlin S M Cowan, Chee Y Ooi, Nadine A Kasparian
A deeper understanding of the gut-brain axis is of significance in pediatrics, given the influential role of early childhood experiences and exposures in shaping the microbiome, and health, across the life course. This systematic review synthesized evidence on the connection between the gut microbiome and mental health in children with physical illness. Six electronic databases were systematically searched and data extracted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines...
January 8, 2019: Developmental Psychobiology
Kalina J Michalska, Elizabeth L Davis
Psychobiological techniques to assess emotional responding have revolutionized the field of emotional development in recent decades by equipping researchers with the tools to quantify children's emotional reactivity and regulation more directly than behavioral approaches allow. Knowledge gained from the incorporation of methods spanning levels of analysis has been substantial, yet many open questions remain. In this prospective review, we (a) describe the major conceptual and empirical advances that have resulted from this methodological innovation, and (b) lay out a case for what we view as the most pressing challenge for the next decades of research into the psychobiology of emotional development: focusing empirical efforts toward understanding the implications of the broader sociocultural contexts in which children develop that shape the psychobiology of emotion...
December 27, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Heather Bortfeld
Much of what is known about the course of auditory learning in following cochlear implantation is based on behavioral indicators that users are able to perceive sound. Both prelingually deafened children and postlingually deafened adults who receive cochlear implants display highly variable speech and language processing outcomes, although the basis for this is poorly understood. To date, measuring neural activity within the auditory cortex of implant recipients of all ages has been challenging, primarily because the use of traditional neuroimaging techniques is limited by the implant itself...
December 26, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Kimberly Cuevas, Adam Sheya
In this article, we review recent empirical and theoretical work on infant memory development, highlighting future directions for the field. We consider the state of the field since Carolyn Rovee-Collier's call for developmental scientists to "shift the focus from what to why," emphasizing the function of infant behavior and the value of integrating fractionized, highly specialized subfields. We discuss functional approaches of early learning and memory, including ecological models of memory development and relevant empirical work in human and non-human organisms...
December 21, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Emma R Lyons, Jessica Norman Wells, Carolyn M Scholtes, Brianna Mintz, Ryan J Giuliano, Elizabeth A Skowron
To understand links between early experience and biomarkers of peripheral physiology in adulthood, this study examined associations between quality of early caregiving and markers of sympathetic activation and chronic inflammation in a sample of 52 low-income mothers and their preschool-aged children. Mothers reported on levels of positive caregiving experienced during childhood using the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior-Intrex. Mother and child sympathetic activation was indexed via pre-ejection period (PEP) at rest, during a dyadic social engagement task, and for children, while interacting with an unfamiliar adult...
December 21, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Sarah Hartman, Kristina Sayler, Jay Belsky
Separate fields of inquiry indicate (a) that prenatal stress is associated with heightened behavioral and physiological reactivity and (b) that these postnatal phenotypes are themselves associated with increased susceptibility to both positive and negative environmental influences. Collectively, this work supports Pluess and Belsky's (Psychopathology, 2011, 23, 29) claim that prenatal stress fosters, promotes or "programs" postnatal developmental plasticity. Herein, we review animal and human evidence consistent with this hypothesis before advancing the novel idea that infant intestinal microbiota may be one candidate mechanism for instantiating developmental plasticity as a result of prenatal stress...
December 21, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
Laura E Quiñones-Camacho, Elizabeth L Davis
Parasympathetic regulation has been consistently linked with better emotional functioning in childhood, but it is still not clear if parasympathetic regulation serves as a transcontextual marker of adaptive emotional functioning or if this link is context-specific. This study tested this by examining the specificity of the relation between parasympathetic regulation in distinct types of challenge tasks and different aspects of children's emotional functioning. Emotional functioning included parent-reported emotional reactivity, parent-reported general emotion regulation ability, and child-reported emotion regulation strategy knowledge...
December 21, 2018: Developmental Psychobiology
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