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Developmental cognitive neuroscience [journal]
- Contributions of social and affective neuroscience to our understanding of typical and atypical development. [EDITORIAL]
- Dev Cogn Neurosci 2014 Feb 14.
- Associations between maternal negative affect and adolescent's neural response to peer evaluation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Dev Cogn Neurosci 2014 Feb 10.
Parenting is often implicated as a potential source of individual differences in youths' emotional information processing. The present study examined whether parental affect is related to an important aspect of adolescent emotional development, response to peer evaluation. Specifically, we examined relations between maternal negative affect, observed during parent-adolescent discussion of an adolescent-nominated concern with which s/he wants parental support, and adolescent neural responses to peer evaluation in 40 emotionally healthy and depressed adolescents. We focused on a network of ventral brain regions involved in affective processing of social information: the amygdala, anterior insula, nucleus accumbens, and subgenual anterior cingulate, as well as the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Maternal negative affect was not associated with adolescent neural response to peer rejection. However, longer durations of maternal negative affect were associated with decreased responsivity to peer acceptance in the amygdala, left anterior insula, subgenual anterior cingulate, and left nucleus accumbens. These findings provide some of the first evidence that maternal negative affect is associated with adolescents' neural processing of social rewards. Findings also suggest that maternal negative affect could contribute to alterations in affective processing, specifically, dampening the saliency and/or reward of peer interactions during adolescence.
- Response to Helfinstein & Casey. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Dev Cogn Neurosci 2014 Feb 20.
- But do you think I'm cool?: Developmental differences in striatal recruitment during direct and reflected social self-evaluations. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Dev Cogn Neurosci 2014 Jan 26.
The current fMRI study investigates the neural foundations of evaluating oneself and others during early adolescence and young adulthood. Eighteen early adolescents (ages 11-14, M=12.6) and 19 young adults (ages 22-31, M=25.6) evaluated whether academic, physical, and social traits described themselves directly (direct self-evaluations), described their best friend directly (direct other-evaluations), described themselves from their best friend's perspective (reflected self-evaluations), or in general could change over time (control malleability-evaluations). Compared to control evaluations, both adolescents and adults recruited cortical midline structures during direct and reflected self-evaluations, as well as during direct other-evaluations, converging with previous research. However, unique to this study was a significant three-way interaction between age group, evaluative perspective, and domain within bilateral ventral striatum. Region of interest analyses demonstrated a significant evaluative perspective by domain interaction within the adolescent sample only. Adolescents recruited greatest bilateral ventral striatum during reflected social self-evaluations, which was positively correlated with age and pubertal development. These findings suggest that reflected social self-evaluations, made from the inferred perspective of a close peer, may be especially self-relevant, salient, or rewarding to adolescent self-processing - particularly during the progression through adolescence - and this feature persists into adulthood.
- ERP correlates of word onset priming in infants and young children. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Dev Cogn Neurosci 2014 Jan 8.:44-55.
Using word onset priming with early learned words, we tracked access to phonological representations and predictive phonological processing at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after birth. Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants heard German word onsets (primes) followed by disyllabic spoken words (targets). Primes and target onsets were either congruent or incongruent (ma - Mama vs. so - Mama [Engl. 'mommy']). For an adult control group, ERP differences were found for the N100 complex, which has been related to abstract auditory analysis; and for the P350 deflection, which has been related to lexical access. A combined analysis of all infants and young children revealed an immature instance of an N100 effect, suggesting adult-like abstract speech sound processing. A central negativity effect, which had formerly been obtained when adults or older children were engaged in a lexical decision task, suggests that adult-like predictive phonological processing is available early in infancy. However, the absence of a P350-like effect in the infant data suggests that adult-like access to phonological forms is not established in the first two years of life. Taken together, ERPs recorded in word onset priming proved useful in investigating early phonological processing without an explicit behavioral measure.
- How and where: Theory-of-mind in the brain. [REVIEW]
- Dev Cogn Neurosci 2014 Jan 25.:68-81.
Theory of mind (ToM) is a core topic in both social neuroscience and developmental psychology, yet theory and data from each field have only minimally constrained thinking in the other. The two fields might be fruitfully integrated, however, if social neuroscientists sought evidence directly relevant to current accounts of ToM development: modularity, simulation, executive, and theory theory accounts. Here we extend the distinct predictions made by each theory to the neural level, describe neuroimaging evidence that in principle would be relevant to testing each account, and discuss such evidence where it exists. We propose that it would be mutually beneficial for both fields if ToM neuroimaging studies focused more on integrating developmental accounts of ToM acquisition with neuroimaging approaches, and suggest ways this might be achieved.
- Exciting fear in adolescence: Does pubertal development alter threat processing? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Dev Cogn Neurosci 2014 Jan 28.
Adolescent development encompasses an ostensible paradox in threat processing. Risk taking increases dramatically after the onset of puberty, contributing to a 200% increase in mortality. Yet, pubertal maturation is associated with increased reactivity in threat-avoidance systems. In the first part of this paper we propose a heuristic model of adolescent affective development that may help to reconcile aspects of this paradox, which focuses on hypothesized pubertal increases in the capacity to experience (some) fear-evoking experiences as an exciting thrill. In the second part of this paper, we test key features of this model by examining brain activation to threat cues in a longitudinal study that disentangled pubertal and age effects. Pubertal increases in testosterone predicted increased activation to threat cues, not only in regions associated with threat avoidance (i.e., amygdala), but also regions associated with reward pursuit (i.e., nucleus accumbens). These findings are consistent with our hypothesis that puberty is associated with a maturational shift toward more complex processing of threat cues-which may contribute to adolescent tendencies to explore and enjoy some types of risky experiences.
- Kids, candy, brain and behavior: Age differences in responses to candy gains and losses. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Dev Cogn Neurosci 2014 Jan 28.:82-92.
The development of reward-related neural systems, from adolescence through adulthood, has received much recent attention in the developmental neuroimaging literature. However, few studies have investigated behavioral and neural responses to both gains and losses in pre-pubertal child populations. To address this gap in the literature, in the present study healthy children aged 7-11 years and young-adults completed an fMRI card-guessing game using candy pieces delivered post-scan as an incentive. Age differences in behavioral and neural responses to candy gains/losses were investigated. Adults and children displayed similar responses to gains, but robust age differences were observed following candy losses within the caudate, thalamus, insula, and hippocampus. Interestingly, when task behavior was included as a factor in post hoc mediation analyses, activation following loss within the caudate/thalamus related to task behavior and relationships with age were no longer significant. Conversely, relationships between response to loss and age within the hippocampus and insula remained significant even when controlling for behavior, with children showing heightened loss responses within the dorsal/posterior insula. These results suggest that both age and task behavior influence responses within the extended reward circuitry, and that children seem to be more sensitive than adults to loss feedback particularly within the dorsal/posterior insula.
- Audiovisual temporal fusion in 6-month-old infants. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Dev Cogn Neurosci 2014 Jan 19.:56-67.
The aim of this study was to investigate neural dynamics of audiovisual temporal fusion processes in 6-month-old infants using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). In a habituation-test paradigm, infants did not show any behavioral signs of discrimination of an audiovisual asynchrony of 200ms, indicating perceptual fusion. In a subsequent EEG experiment, audiovisual synchronous stimuli and stimuli with a visual delay of 200ms were presented in random order. In contrast to the behavioral data, brain activity differed significantly between the two conditions. Critically, N1 and P2 latency delays were not observed between synchronous and fused items, contrary to previously observed N1 and P2 latency delays between synchrony and perceived asynchrony. Hence, temporal interaction processes in the infant brain between the two sensory modalities varied as a function of perceptual fusion versus asynchrony perception. The visual recognition components Pb and Nc were modulated prior to sound onset, emphasizing the importance of anticipatory visual events for the prediction of auditory signals. Results suggest mechanisms by which young infants predictively adjust their ongoing neural activity to the temporal synchrony relations to be expected between vision and audition.