Infant Behavior

Publication Title: 
Psychoneuroendocrinology

Infant neurobehavior, a potential sentinel of future mental and behavioral morbidity characterized in part by reflex symmetry, excitability and habituation to stimuli, is influenced by aspects of the intrauterine environment partially through epigenetic alterations of genes involved in the stress response.

Author(s): 
Appleton, Allison A.
Lester, Barry M.
Armstrong, David A.
Lesseur, Corina
Marsit, Carmen J.
Publication Title: 
Epigenomics

Preterm birth is associated with medical problems affecting the neuroendocrine system, altering cortisol levels resulting in negative effects on newborn neurobehavior. Newborn neurobehavior is regulated by DNA methylation of NR3C1 and HSD11B2. AIM: Determine if methylation of HSD11B2 and NR3C1 is associated with neurobehavioral profiles in preterm infants. PATIENTS & METHODS: Neurobehavior was measured before discharge from the hospital in 67 preterm infants. Cheek swabs were collected for DNA extraction.

Author(s): 
Lester, Barry M.
Marsit, Carmen J.
Giarraputo, James
Hawes, Katheleen
LaGasse, Linda L.
Padbury, James F.
Publication Title: 
Biological Psychiatry

BACKGROUND: Maternal love, which may be the core of maternal behavior, is essential for the mother-infant attachment relationship and is important for the infant's development and mental health. However, little has been known about these neural mechanisms in human mothers. We examined patterns of maternal brain activation in response to infant cues using video clips.

Author(s): 
Noriuchi, Madoka
Kikuchi, Yoshiaki
Senoo, Atsushi
Publication Title: 
Early Human Development

The developmental trajectories of specific forms of maternal touch during natural caregiving were examined across the first year in relation to the development of mother-infant reciprocal communication. One hundred and thirty-one mothers and infants in four groups aged 3, 6, 9, and 12 months were observed in a cross-sectional design at home during natural caregiving and mother-child play sessions. Microanalytic coding of the caregiving sessions considered nine forms of maternal touch, which were aggregated into three global touch categories: affectionate, stimulating, and instrumental.

Author(s): 
Ferber, Sari Goldstein
Feldman, Ruth
Makhoul, Imad R.
Publication Title: 
PLoS biology

People often act on behalf of others. They do so without immediate personal gain, at cost to themselves, and even toward unfamiliar individuals. Many researchers have claimed that such altruism emanates from a species-unique psychology not found in humans' closest living evolutionary relatives, such as the chimpanzee. In favor of this view, the few experimental studies on altruism in chimpanzees have produced mostly negative results.

Author(s): 
Warneken, Felix
Hare, Brian
Melis, Alicia P.
Hanus, Daniel
Tomasello, Michael
Publication Title: 
British Journal of Psychology (London, England: 1953)

Human infants as young as 14 to 18 months of age help others attain their goals, for example, by helping them to fetch out-of-reach objects or opening cabinets for them. They do this irrespective of any reward from adults (indeed external rewards undermine the tendency), and very likely with no concern for such things as reciprocation and reputation, which serve to maintain altruism in older children and adults. Humans' nearest primate relatives, chimpanzees, also help others instrumentally without concrete rewards.

Author(s): 
Warneken, Felix
Tomasello, Michael
Publication Title: 
British Journal of Psychology (London, England: 1953)

The authors' rigorous and ingenious programme of work documents young humans' capacity for prosocial action (Warneken & Tomasello, 2009). Their laboratory findings are corroborated by centuries of observational data, spanning cultures, and historical epochs. Two general questions are raised. Firstly, what are the rules of evidence needed in using comparative data to make claims about the evolution of human social behaviours?

Author(s): 
Hay, Dale F.
Publication Title: 
Infant Behavior & Development

Newborns' crying in response to the cry of another newborn has been called an empathetic response. The purpose of this study was to determine whether newborns of depressed mothers showed the same response. Newborns of depressed and non-depressed mothers were presented with cry sounds of themselves or other infants, and their sucking and heart rate were recorded. The newborns of non-depressed mothers responded to the cry sounds of other infants with reduced sucking and decreased heart rate.

Author(s): 
Field, Tiffany
Diego, Miguel
Hernandez-Reif, Maria
Fernandez, Mercedes
Publication Title: 
Infant Behavior & Development

Preterm infants residing in an NICU were randomly assigned to a massage therapy or to a control group. The preterm infants in the massage therapy group received three 15-min massages each day for 5 consecutive days, with the massages consisting of moderate pressure stroking to the head, shoulders, back, arms and legs and kinesthetic exercises consisting of flexion and extension of the limbs. Infant stress behaviors and activity were recorded on the first and last day of the study.

Author(s): 
Hernandez-Reif, Maria
Diego, Miguel
Field, Tiffany
Publication Title: 
Infant Behavior & Development

Temperature was assessed in 72 preterm infants randomly assigned to a control or a massage therapy group. A greater increase in temperature was noted for preterm infants receiving massage therapy versus a control group, even though the incubator portholes remained open during the 15 min massage therapy session but not for the control group over an equivalent time period.

Author(s): 
Diego, Miguel A.
Field, Tiffany
Hernandez-Reif, Maria

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