(Dev Cogn Neurosci[TA])
- The application of neuroimaging to social inequity and language disparity: A cautionary examination. [Review]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016 Oct 3; 22:1-8
- In the nascent field of the cognitive neuroscience of socioeconomic status (SES), researchers are using neuroimaging to examine how growing up in poverty affects children's neurocognitive development...
In the nascent field of the cognitive neuroscience of socioeconomic status (SES), researchers are using neuroimaging to examine how growing up in poverty affects children's neurocognitive development, particularly their language abilities. In this review we highlight difficulties inherent in the frequent use of reverse inference to interpret SES-related abnormalities in brain regions that support language. While there is growing evidence suggesting that SES moderates children's developing brain structure and function, no studies to date have elucidated explicitly how these neural findings are related to variations in children's language abilities, or precisely what it is about SES that underlies or contributes to these differences. This issue is complicated by the fact that SES is confounded with such linguistic factors as cultural language use, first language, and bilingualism. Thus, SES-associated differences in brain regions that support language may not necessarily indicate differences in neurocognitive abilities. In this review we consider the multidimensionality of SES, discuss studies that have found SES-related differences in structure and function in brain regions that support language, and suggest future directions for studies in the area of cognitive neuroscience of SES that are less reliant on reverse inference.
- Hemispheric speech lateralisation in the developing brain is related to motor praxis ability. [Journal Article]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016 Sep 29; 22:9-17
- Commonly displayed functional asymmetries such as hand dominance and hemispheric speech lateralisation are well researched in adults. However there is debate about when such functions become laterali...
Commonly displayed functional asymmetries such as hand dominance and hemispheric speech lateralisation are well researched in adults. However there is debate about when such functions become lateralised in the typically developing brain. This study examined whether patterns of speech laterality and hand dominance were related and whether they varied with age in typically developing children. 148 children aged 3-10 years performed an electronic pegboard task to determine hand dominance; a subset of 38 of these children also underwent functional Transcranial Doppler (fTCD) imaging to derive a lateralisation index (LI) for hemispheric activation during speech production using an animation description paradigm. There was no main effect of age in the speech laterality scores, however, younger children showed a greater difference in performance between their hands on the motor task. Furthermore, this between-hand performance difference significantly interacted with direction of speech laterality, with a smaller between-hand difference relating to increased left hemisphere activation. This data shows that both handedness and speech lateralisation appear relatively determined by age 3, but that atypical cerebral lateralisation is linked to greater performance differences in hand skill, irrespective of age. Results are discussed in terms of the common neural systems underpinning handedness and speech lateralisation.
- Early math and reading achievement are associated with the error positivity. [Journal Article]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016 Sep 21; 22:18-26
- Executive functioning (EF) and motivation are associated with academic achievement and error-related ERPs. The present study explores whether early academic skills predict variability in the error-re...
Executive functioning (EF) and motivation are associated with academic achievement and error-related ERPs. The present study explores whether early academic skills predict variability in the error-related negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe). Data from 113 three- to seven-year-old children in a Go/No-Go task revealed that stronger early reading and math skills predicted a larger Pe. Closer examination revealed that this relation was quadratic and significant for children performing at or near grade level, but not significant for above-average achievers. Early academics did not predict the ERN. These findings suggest that the Pe - which reflects individual differences in motivational processes as well as attention - may be associated with early academic achievement.
- Becoming a sexual being: The 'elephant in the room' of adolescent brain development. [Review]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016 Sep 29
- The onset of adolescence is a time of profound changes in motivation, cognition, behavior, and social relationships. Existing neurodevelopmental models have integrated our current understanding of ad...
The onset of adolescence is a time of profound changes in motivation, cognition, behavior, and social relationships. Existing neurodevelopmental models have integrated our current understanding of adolescent brain development; however, there has been surprisingly little focus on the importance of adolescence as a sensitive period for romantic and sexual development. As young people enter adolescence, one of their primary tasks is to gain knowledge and experience that will allow them to take on the social roles of adults, including engaging in romantic and sexual relationships. By reviewing the relevant human and animal neurodevelopmental literature, this paper highlights how we should move beyond thinking of puberty as simply a set of somatic changes that are critical for physical reproductive maturation. Rather, puberty also involves a set of neurobiological changes that are critical for the social, emotional, and cognitive maturation necessary for reproductive success. The primary goal of this paper is to broaden the research base and dialogue about adolescent romantic and sexual development, in hopes of advancing understanding of sex and romance as important developmental dimensions of health and well-being in adolescence.
- Impact of associative word learning on phonotactic processing in 6-month-old infants: A combined EEG and fNIRS study. [Journal Article]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016 Sep 20
- During early language development native phonotactics are acquired in a 'bottom-up' fashion, relying on exquisite auditory differentiation skills operational from birth. Since basic lexico-semantic a...
During early language development native phonotactics are acquired in a 'bottom-up' fashion, relying on exquisite auditory differentiation skills operational from birth. Since basic lexico-semantic abilities have been demonstrated from 6 months onwards, 'top-down' influences on phonotactic learning may complement the extraction of transitional probabilities in phonotactic learning. Such a bidirectional acquisition strategy predicts, that familiarization with (proto)words should affect processing of untrained word-forms of similar phonological structure. We investigated 6-month-old infants undergoing an associative training to establish a pseudoword-pseudoobject link. Comparison between pre- and post-training responses to trained and untrained items allowed investigating training effects. Additionally phonotactic status (50% legal, 50% illegal with regard to German) allowed investigating influences of previous language experience. EEG and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) provided measures of electrophysiological and hemodynamic responses. We find evidence for a robust effect of associative training on pseudoword processing when presented in isolation. This transferred to untrained items. Previous linguistic experience showed a much weaker effect. Taken together the results suggest that sensitivity to phonotactic contrasts is present at 6 months, but that acceptance as lexical candidates is rapidly modulated when word forms following non-native phonotactics become potentially meaningful due to repeated exposure in a semantic context.
- A developmental neuroscience perspective on affect-biased attention. [Review]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016; 21:26-41
- There is growing interest regarding the impact of affect-biased attention on psychopathology. However, most of the research to date lacks a developmental approach. In the present review, we examine t...
There is growing interest regarding the impact of affect-biased attention on psychopathology. However, most of the research to date lacks a developmental approach. In the present review, we examine the role affect-biased attention plays in shaping socioemotional trajectories within a developmental neuroscience framework. We propose that affect-biased attention, particularly if stable and entrenched, acts as a developmental tether that helps sustain early socioemotional and behavioral profiles over time, placing some individuals on maladaptive developmental trajectories. Although most of the evidence is found in the anxiety literature, we suggest that these relations may operate across multiple domains of interest, including positive affect, externalizing behaviors, drug use, and eating behaviors. We also review the general mechanisms and neural correlates of affect-biased attention, as well as the current evidence for the co-development of attention and affect. Based on the reviewed literature, we propose a model that may help us better understand the nuances of affect-biased attention across development. The model may serve as a strong foundation for ongoing attempts to identify neurocognitive mechanisms and intervene with individuals at risk. Finally, we discuss open issues for future research that may help bridge existing gaps in the literature.
- Amygdala habituation to emotional faces in adolescents with internalizing disorders, adolescents with childhood sexual abuse related PTSD and healthy adolescents. [Journal Article]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016; 21:15-25
- Adolescents with internalizing disorders and adolescents with childhood sexual abuse related post-traumatic stress disorder (CSA-related PTSD) show a large overlap in symptomatology. In addition, bra...
Adolescents with internalizing disorders and adolescents with childhood sexual abuse related post-traumatic stress disorder (CSA-related PTSD) show a large overlap in symptomatology. In addition, brain research indicated hyper-responsiveness and sustained activation instead of habituation of amygdala activation to emotional faces in both groups. Little is known, however, about whether the same patterns of amygdala habituation are present in these two groups. The current study examined habituation patterns of amygdala activity to emotional faces (fearful, happy and neutral) in adolescents with a DSM-IV depressive and/or anxiety disorder (N=25), adolescents with CSA-related PTSD (N=19) and healthy controls (N=26). Behaviourally, the adolescents from the internalizing and CSA-related PTSD group reported more anxiety to fearful and neutral faces than adolescents from the control group and adolescents from the CSA-related PTSD group reacted slower compared to the internalizing group. At the whole brain level, there was a significant interaction between time and group within the left amygdala. Follow-up ROI analysis showed elevated initial activity in the amygdala and rapid habituation in the CSA-related PTSD group compared to the internalizing group. These findings suggest that habituation patterns of amygdala activation provide additional information on problems with emotional face processing. Furthermore, the results suggest there are differences in the underlying neurobiological mechanisms related to emotional face processing for adolescents with internalizing disorders and adolescents with CSA-related PTSD. Possibly CSA-related PTSD is characterized by a stronger primary emotional response driven by the amygdala.
- The neural substrates of cognitive flexibility are related to individual differences in preschool irritability: A fNIRS investigation. [Journal Article]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016 Aug 4
- Preschool (age 3-5) is a phase of rapid development in both cognition and emotion, making this a period in which the neurodevelopment of each domain is particularly sensitive to that of the other. Du...
Preschool (age 3-5) is a phase of rapid development in both cognition and emotion, making this a period in which the neurodevelopment of each domain is particularly sensitive to that of the other. During this period, children rapidly learn how to flexibly shift their attention between competing demands and, at the same time, acquire critical emotion regulation skills to respond to negative affective challenges. The integration of cognitive flexibility and individual differences in irritability may be an important developmental process of early childhood maturation. However, at present it is unclear if they share common neural substrates in early childhood. Our main goal was to examine the neural correlates of cognitive flexibility in preschool children and test for associations with irritability. Forty-six preschool aged children completed a novel, child-appropriate, Stroop task while dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activation was recorded using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS). Parents rated their child's irritability. Results indicated that left DLPFC activation was associated with cognitive flexibility and positively correlated with irritability. Right DLPFC activation was also positively correlated with irritability. Results suggest the entwined nature of cognitive and emotional neurodevelopment during a developmental period of rapid and mutual acceleration.
- Corrigendum to "Multiple forms of metaplasticity at a single hippocampal synapse during late postnatal development" [Dev. Cogn. Sci. 12C (2015) 145-154]. [PUBLISHED ERRATUM]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016; 20:1
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- Neural correlates of accelerated auditory processing in children engaged in music training. [Journal Article]
- DCDev Cogn Neurosci 2016; 21:1-14
- Several studies comparing adult musicians and non-musicians have shown that music training is associated with brain differences. It is unknown, however, whether these differences result from lengthy ...
Several studies comparing adult musicians and non-musicians have shown that music training is associated with brain differences. It is unknown, however, whether these differences result from lengthy musical training, from pre-existing biological traits, or from social factors favoring musicality. As part of an ongoing 5-year longitudinal study, we investigated the effects of a music training program on the auditory development of children, over the course of two years, beginning at age 6-7. The training was group-based and inspired by El-Sistema. We compared the children in the music group with two comparison groups of children of the same socio-economic background, one involved in sports training, another not involved in any systematic training. Prior to participating, children who began training in music did not differ from those in the comparison groups in any of the assessed measures. After two years, we now observe that children in the music group, but not in the two comparison groups, show an enhanced ability to detect changes in tonal environment and an accelerated maturity of auditory processing as measured by cortical auditory evoked potentials to musical notes. Our results suggest that music training may result in stimulus specific brain changes in school aged children.