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The association of temperament and maternal empathy with individual differences in infants' neural responses to emotional body expressions.
Dev Psychopathol. 2015 Nov; 27(4 Pt 1):1205-16.DP

Abstract

We examined the role of infant temperament and maternal dispositional empathy in the neural processing of happy and fearful emotional body expressions in 8-month-old infants by measuring event-related brain potentials. Our results revealed that infants' tendency to approach novel objects and people was positively correlated with the neural sensitivity (attention allocation) to fearful expressions, while infant fearfulness was negatively correlated to the neural sensitivity to fearful expressions. Maternal empathic concern was associated with infants' neural discrimination between happy and fearful expression, with infants of more empathetically concerned mothers showing greater neural sensitivity (attention allocation) to fearful compared to happy expressions. It is critical that our results also revealed that individual differences in the sensitivity to emotional information are explained by an interaction between infant temperament and maternal empathic concern. Specifically, maternal empathy appears to impact infants' neural responses to emotional body expressions, depending on infant fearfulness. These findings support the notion that the way in which infants respond to emotional signals in the environment is fundamentally linked to their temperament and maternal empathic traits. This adds an early developmental neuroscience dimension to existing accounts of social-emotional functioning, suggesting a complex and integrative picture of why and how infants' emotional sensitivity varies.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences,Leipzig.Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences,Leipzig.Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences,Leipzig.Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences,Leipzig.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26439071

Citation

Rajhans, Purva, et al. "The Association of Temperament and Maternal Empathy With Individual Differences in Infants' Neural Responses to Emotional Body Expressions." Development and Psychopathology, vol. 27, no. 4 Pt 1, 2015, pp. 1205-16.
Rajhans P, Missana M, Krol KM, et al. The association of temperament and maternal empathy with individual differences in infants' neural responses to emotional body expressions. Dev Psychopathol. 2015;27(4 Pt 1):1205-16.
Rajhans, P., Missana, M., Krol, K. M., & Grossmann, T. (2015). The association of temperament and maternal empathy with individual differences in infants' neural responses to emotional body expressions. Development and Psychopathology, 27(4 Pt 1), 1205-16. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579415000772
Rajhans P, et al. The Association of Temperament and Maternal Empathy With Individual Differences in Infants' Neural Responses to Emotional Body Expressions. Dev Psychopathol. 2015;27(4 Pt 1):1205-16. PubMed PMID: 26439071.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The association of temperament and maternal empathy with individual differences in infants' neural responses to emotional body expressions. AU - Rajhans,Purva, AU - Missana,Manuela, AU - Krol,Kathleen M, AU - Grossmann,Tobias, PY - 2015/10/7/entrez PY - 2015/10/7/pubmed PY - 2016/5/28/medline SP - 1205 EP - 16 JF - Development and psychopathology JO - Dev Psychopathol VL - 27 IS - 4 Pt 1 N2 - We examined the role of infant temperament and maternal dispositional empathy in the neural processing of happy and fearful emotional body expressions in 8-month-old infants by measuring event-related brain potentials. Our results revealed that infants' tendency to approach novel objects and people was positively correlated with the neural sensitivity (attention allocation) to fearful expressions, while infant fearfulness was negatively correlated to the neural sensitivity to fearful expressions. Maternal empathic concern was associated with infants' neural discrimination between happy and fearful expression, with infants of more empathetically concerned mothers showing greater neural sensitivity (attention allocation) to fearful compared to happy expressions. It is critical that our results also revealed that individual differences in the sensitivity to emotional information are explained by an interaction between infant temperament and maternal empathic concern. Specifically, maternal empathy appears to impact infants' neural responses to emotional body expressions, depending on infant fearfulness. These findings support the notion that the way in which infants respond to emotional signals in the environment is fundamentally linked to their temperament and maternal empathic traits. This adds an early developmental neuroscience dimension to existing accounts of social-emotional functioning, suggesting a complex and integrative picture of why and how infants' emotional sensitivity varies. SN - 1469-2198 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26439071/The_association_of_temperament_and_maternal_empathy_with_individual_differences_in_infants'_neural_responses_to_emotional_body_expressions_ L2 - https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S0954579415000772/type/journal_article DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -