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Early Psychosocial Neglect Adversely Impacts Developmental Trajectories of Brain Oscillations and Their Interactions
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2015) 27 (12): 2512–2528.
Published: 01 December 2015
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AbstractView article PDF
Rhythmicity is a fundamental property of neural activity at multiple spatiotemporal scales, and associated oscillations represent a critical mechanism for communication and transmission of information across brain regions. During development, these oscillations evolve dynamically as a function of neural maturation and may be modulated by early experiences, positive and/or negative. This study investigated the impact of psychosocial deprivation associated with institutional rearing in early life and the effects of subsequent foster care intervention on developmental trajectories of neural oscillations and their cross-frequency correlations. Longitudinally acquired nontask EEGs from three cohorts of children from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project were analyzed. These included abandoned children initially reared in institutions and subsequently randomized to be placed in foster care or receive care as usual (prolonged institutional rearing) and a group of never-institutionalized children. Oscillation trajectories were estimated from 42 to 96 months, that is, 1–3 years after all children in the intervention arm of the study had been placed in foster care. Significant differences between groups were estimated for the amplitude trajectories of cognitive-related gamma, beta, alpha, and theta oscillations. Similar differences were identified as a function of time spent in institutions, suggesting that increased time spent in psychosocial neglect may have profound and widespread effects on brain activity. Significant group differences in cross-frequency coupling were estimated longitudinally between gamma and lower frequencies as well as alpha and lower frequencies. Lower cross-gamma coupling was estimated at 96 months in the group of children that remained in institutions at that age compared to the other two groups, suggesting potentially impaired communication between local and long-distance brain networks in these children. In contrast, higher cross-alpha coupling was estimated in this group compared to the other two groups at 96 months, suggesting impaired suppression of alpha–theta and alpha–delta activity, which has been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. Age at foster care placement had a significant positive modulatory effect on alpha and beta trajectories and their mutual coupling, although by 96 months these trajectories remained distinct from those of never-institutionalized children. Overall, these findings suggest that early psychosocial neglect may profoundly impact neural maturation, particularly the evolution of neural oscillations and their interactions across a broad frequency range. These differences may result in widespread deficits across multiple cognitive domains.
Modulation of Face-sensitive Event-related Potentials by Canonical and Distorted Human Faces: The Role of Vertical Symmetry and Up-Down Featural Arrangement
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2006) 18 (8): 1343–1358.
Published: 01 August 2006
AbstractView article PDF
This study examined the sensitivity of early face-sensitive event-related potential (ERP) components to the disruption of two structural properties embedded in faces, namely, “updown featural arrangement” and “vertical symmetry.” Behavioral measures and ERPs were recorded as adults made an orientation judgment for canonical faces and distorted faces that had been manipulated for either or both of the mentioned properties. The P1, the N170, and the vertex positive potential (VPP) exhibited a similar gradient in sensitivity to the two investigated properties, in that they all showed a linear increase in amplitude or latency as the properties were selectively disrupted in the order of (1) up-down featural arrangement, (2) vertical symmetry, and (3) both up-down featural arrangement and vertical symmetry. Exceptions to this finding were seen for the amplitudes of the N170 and VPP, which were largest for the stimulus in which solely vertical symmetry was disrupted. Interestingly, the enhanced amplitudes of the N170 and VPP are consistent with a drop in behavioral performance on the orientation judgment for this stimulus.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2004) 16 (8): 1319.
Published: 01 October 2004
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2003) 15 (3): 432–443.
Published: 01 April 2003
AbstractView article PDF
Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to examine developmental differences between adults and 6-year-old children in the neural processes involved in an inhibitory control task. Twenty adults and 21 children completed a task that required them to selectively respond to target stimuli while inhibiting responses to equally salient non-target stimuli. Because this task had been previously studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the relation between the fMRI and ERP findings was informally examined. The results indicate that latency and amplitude of the P3 differentiated the different types of trials. However, the pattern of event-related neural activity differed for adults and children. These results, which suggest that adults and children may be using different processes to perform this task, have implications for the interpretation of the previous fMRI findings.