Authors:Simone P.W. Haller; Brianna R. Doherty; Mihaela Duta; Kathrin Cohen Kadosh; Jennifer Y.F. Lau; Gaia Scerif Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 March 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Simone P.W. Haller, Brianna R. Doherty, Mihaela Duta, Kathrin Cohen Kadosh, Jennifer Y.F. Lau, Gaia Scerif Adolescence is a sensitive period for increases in normative but also debilitating social fears and worries. As the interpretation of interpersonal cues is pertinent to social anxiety, investigating mechanisms that may underlie biases in social cue appraisal is important. Fifty-one adolescents from the community aged 14 to 19 were presented with self- and other-relevant naturalistic social scenes for 5seconds and then required to rate either a negative or a positive interpretation of the scene. Eye-tracking data were collected during the free viewing period to index attentional deployment. Individual differences in social worries were measured via self-report. Social anxiety levels significantly predicted biases in interpretation ratings across scenes. Additionally, cumulative attentional deployment to peer cues also predicted these interpretation biases: participants who spent more time on facial displays perceived more threat, i.e. endorsed more negative and less positive interpretations. Self-relevant scenes yielded greater tendencies to draw negative interpretations. Finally, older adolescents also selected more benign interpretations. Social anxiety is associated with a bias in interpreting social cues; a cognitive bias that is also influenced by attentional deployment. This study contributes to our understanding of the possible attention mechanisms that shape cognitions relevant to social anxiety in this at-risk age group.
Authors:Maggie W. Guy; John E. Richards; Bridgette L. Tonnsen; Jane E. Roberts Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 March 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Maggie W. Guy, John E. Richards, Bridgette L. Tonnsen, Jane E. Roberts Neural correlates of face processing were examined in 12-month-olds at high-risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including 21 siblings of children with ASD (ASIBs) and 15 infants with fragile X syndrome (FXS), as well as 21 low-risk (LR) controls. Event-related potentials were recorded to familiar and novel face and toy stimuli. All infants demonstrated greater N290 amplitude to faces than toys. At the Nc component, LR infants showed greater amplitude to novel stimuli than to their mother’s face and own toy, whereas infants with FXS showed the opposite pattern of responses and ASIBs did not differentiate based on familiarity. These results reflect developing face specialization across high- and low-risk infants and reveal neural patterns that distinguish between groups at high-risk for ASD.
Authors:Silvia Benavides Varela; Judit Gervain Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 March 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Silvia Benavides Varela, Judit Gervain In language, the relative order of words in sentences carries important grammatical functions. However, the developmental origins and the neural correlates of the ability to track word order are to date poorly understood. The current study therefore investigates the origins of infants’ ability to learn about the sequential order of words, using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) with newborn infants. We have conducted two experiments: one in which a word order change was implemented in 4-word sequences recorded with a list intonation (as if each word was a separate item in a list; list prosody condition, Experiment 1) and one in which the same 4-word sequences were recorded with a well-formed utterance-level prosodic contour (utterance prosody condition, Experiment 2). We found that newborns could detect the violation of the word order in the list prosody condition, but not in the utterance prosody condition. These results suggest that while newborns are already sensitive to word order in linguistic sequences, prosody appears to be a stronger cue than word order for the identification of linguistic units at birth.
Authors:Philippa Howsley; Liat Levita Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 March 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Philippa Howsley, Liat Levita This study examined whether changes in perceptual processes can partially account for the increase in reward-orientated behaviour during adolescence. This was investigated by examining reinforcement-dependent potentiation to discriminative stimuli (SD) that predicted rewarding or threatening outcomes. To that end, perceptual event-related potentials that are modulated by motivationally salient stimuli, the N170 and Late Positive Potential (LPP), were recorded from 30 preadolescents (9-12 years), 30 adolescents (13-17 years), and 34 late adolescents (18-23 years) while they completed an instrumental task in which they emitted or omitted a motor response to obtain rewards and avoid losses. The LPP, but not the N170, showed age, but not gender, differences in reinforcement-dependent potentiation; preadolescents, adolescents and late adolescents showed potentiation to SD that predicted a threat, whereas only preadolescents showed potentiation to SD that predicted a reward. Notably, the magnitude of threat-related LPP reinforcement-dependent potentiation decreased during the course of adolescence. In addition, greater sensation seeking was associated with greater LPP amplitudes in preadolescent males, but smaller LPP amplitudes in late adolescent males. Critically, these findings provide initial evidence for developmental differences in value-related coding in perceptual areas, where adolescents show greater perceptual biases to avoidance-related cues than to reward-related cues.
Authors:Joonkoo Park Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 March 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Joonkoo Park While recent studies in adults have demonstrated the existence of a neural mechanism for a visual sense of number, little is known about its development and whether such a mechanism exists at young ages. In the current study, I introduce a novel steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) technique to objectively quantify early visual cortical sensitivity to numerical and non-numerical magnitudes of a dot array. I then examine this neural sensitivity to numerical magnitude in children between three and ten years of age and in college students. Children overall exhibit strong SSVEP sensitivity to numerical magnitude in the right occipital sites with negligible SSVEP sensitivity to non-numerical magnitudes, the pattern similar to what is observed in adults. However, a closer examination of age differences reveals that this selective neural sensitivity to numerical magnitude, which is close to absent in three-year-olds, increases steadily as a function of age, while there is virtually no neural sensitivity to other non-numerical magnitudes across these ages. These results demonstrate the emergence of a neural mechanism underlying direct perception of numerosity across early and middle childhood and provide a potential neural mechanistic explanation for the development of humans’ primitive, non-verbal ability to comprehend number.
Authors:Caterina Ansuini; Jessica Podda; Francesca Maria Battaglia; Edvige Veneselli; Cristina Becchio Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 March 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Caterina Ansuini, Jessica Podda, Francesca Maria Battaglia, Edvige Veneselli, Cristina Becchio Where grasps are made reveals how grasps are planned. The grasp height effect predicts that, when people take hold of an object to move it to a new position, the grasp height on the object is inversely related to the height of the target position. In the present study, we used this effect as a window into the prospective sensorimotor control of children with autism spectrum disorders without accompanying intellectual impairment. Participants were instructed to grasp a vertical cylinder and move it from a table (home position) to a shelf of varying height (target position). Depending on the conditions, they performed the task using only one hand (unimanual), two hands (bimanual), or with the help of a co-actor (joint). Comparison between the performance of typically developing children and children with autism revealed no group difference across tasks. We found, however, a significant influence of IQ on grasp height modulation in both groups. These results provide clear evidence against a general prospective sensorimotor planning deficit and suggest that at least some form of higher order planning is present in autism without accompanying intellectual impairment.
Authors:Aurelie Fontan; Fabien Cignetti; Bruno Nazarian; Jean-Luc Anton; Marianne Vaugoyeau; Christine Assaiante Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Aurelie Fontan, Fabien Cignetti, Bruno Nazarian, Jean-Luc Anton, Marianne Vaugoyeau, Christine Assaiante Exploration of the body representation system (BRS) from kinaesthetic illusions in fMRI has revealed a complex network composed of sensorimotor and frontoparietal components. Here, we evaluated the degree of maturity of this network in children aged 7–11 years, and the extent to which structural factors account for network differences with adults. Brain activation following tendon vibration at 100Hz (‘illusion’) and 30Hz (‘no illusion’) were analysed using the two-stage random effects model, with or without white and grey matter covariates. The BRS was already well established in children as revealed by the contrast ‘illusion’ vs ‘no illusion’, although still immature in some aspects. This included a lower level of activation in primary somatosensory and posterior parietal regions, and the exclusive activation of the frontopolar cortex (FPC) in children compared to adults. The former differences were related to structure, while the latter difference reflected a functional strategy where the FPC may serve as the ‘top’ in top-down modulation of the activity of the other BRS regions to facilitate the establishment of body representations. Hence, the development of the BRS not only relies on structural maturation, but also involves the disengagement of an executive region not classically involved in body processing.
Authors:Hailey L. Dotterer; Johnna R. Swartz; Ahmad R. Hariri; Douglas E. Williamson Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Hailey L. Dotterer, Johnna R. Swartz, Ahmad R. Hariri, Douglas E. Williamson Recent neuroimaging studies have suggested divergent relationships between antisocial behavior (AB) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits and amygdala reactivity to fearful and angry facial expressions in adolescents. However, little work has examined if these findings extend to dimensional measures of behavior in ethnically diverse, non-clinical samples, or if participant sex, ethnicity, pubertal stage, and age moderate associations. We examined links between amygdala reactivity and dimensions of AB and CU traits in 220 Hispanic and non-Hispanic Caucasian adolescents (age 11–15; 49.5% female; 38.2% Hispanic), half of whom had a family history for depression and thus were at relatively elevated risk for late starting, emotionally dysregulated AB. We found that AB was significantly related to increased right amygdala reactivity to angry facial expressions independent of sex, ethnicity, pubertal stage, age, and familial risk status for depression. CU traits were not related to fear- or anger-related amygdala reactivity. The present study further demonstrates that AB is related to increased amygdala reactivity to interpersonal threat cues in adolescents, and that this relationship generalizes across sex, ethnicity, pubertal stage, age, and familial risk status for depression.
Authors:Michelle Achterberg; Anna C.K. van Duijvenvoorde; Mara van der Meulen; Saskia Euser; Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg; Eveline A. Crone Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Michelle Achterberg, Anna C.K. van Duijvenvoorde, Mara van der Meulen, Saskia Euser, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Eveline A. Crone Being accepted or rejected by peers is highly salient for developing social relations in childhood. We investigated the behavioral and neural correlates of social feedback and subsequent aggression in 7-10-year-old children, using the Social Network Aggression Task (SNAT). Participants viewed pictures of peers that gave positive, neutral or negative feedback to the participant’s profile. Next, participants could blast a loud noise towards the peer, as an index of aggression. We included three groups (N =19, N =28 and N =27) and combined the results meta-analytically. Negative social feedback resulted in the most behavioral aggression, with large combined effect-sizes. Whole brain condition effects for each separate sample failed to show robust effects, possibly due to the small samples. Exploratory analyses over the combined test and replication samples confirmed heightened activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) after negative social feedback. Moreover, meta-analyses of activity in predefined regions of interest showed that negative social feedback resulted in more neural activation in the amygdala, anterior insula and the mPFC/anterior cingulate cortex. Together, the results show that social motivation is already highly salient in middle childhood, and indicate that the SNAT is a valid paradigm for assessing the neural and behavioral correlates of social evaluation in children.
Authors:Gavin R. Price; Darren J. Yeo; Eric D. Wilkey; Laurie E. Cutting Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Gavin R. Price, Darren J. Yeo, Eric D. Wilkey, Laurie E. Cutting The present study investigates the relation between resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of cytoarchitectonically defined subdivisions of the parietal cortex at the end of 1st grade and arithmetic performance at the end of 2nd grade. Results revealed a dissociable pattern of relations between rsFC and arithmetic competence among subdivisions of intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and angular gyrus (AG). rsFC between right hemisphere IPS subdivisions and contralateral IPS subdivisions positively correlated with arithmetic competence. In contrast, rsFC between the left hIP1 and the right medial temporal lobe, and rsFC between the left AG and left superior frontal gyrus, were negatively correlated with arithmetic competence. These results suggest that strong inter-hemispheric IPS connectivity is important for math development, reflecting either neurocognitive mechanisms specific to arithmetic processing, domain-general mechanisms that are particularly relevant to arithmetic competence, or structural ‘cortical maturity’. Stronger connectivity between IPS, and AG, subdivisions and frontal and temporal cortices, however, appears to be negatively associated with math development, possibly reflecting the ability to disengage suboptimal problem-solving strategies during mathematical processing, or to flexibly reorient task-based networks. Importantly, the reported results pertain even when controlling for reading, spatial attention, and working memory, suggesting that the observed rsFC-behavior relations are specific to arithmetic competence.
Authors:Shulamite A. Green; Leanna M. Hernandez; Hilary C. Bowman; Susan Y. Bookheimer; Mirella Dapretto Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Shulamite A. Green, Leanna M. Hernandez, Hilary C. Bowman, Susan Y. Bookheimer, Mirella Dapretto Sensory over-responsivity (SOR) is a common condition in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that is associated with greater social impairment. However, the mechanisms through which sensory stimuli may affect social functioning are not well understood. This study used fMRI to examine brain activity while interpreting communicative intent in 15 high-functioning youth with ASD and 16 age- and IQ-matched typically-developing (TD) controls. Participants completed the task with and without a tactile sensory distracter, and with and without instructions directing their attention to relevant social cues. When completing the task in the presence of the sensory distracter, TD youth showed increased activity in auditory language and frontal regions whereas ASD youth showed decreased activation in these areas. Instructions mitigated this effect such that ASD youth did not decrease activation during tactile stimulation; instead, the ASD group showed increased medial prefrontal activity. SOR severity modulated the effect of the tactile stimulus on social processing. Results demonstrate for the first time a neural mechanism through which sensory stimuli cause disruption of social cognition, and that attentional modulation can restore neural processing of social cues through prefrontal regulation. Findings have implications for novel, integrative interventions that incorporate attentional directives to target both sensory and social symptoms.
Authors:Maya Opendak; Elizabeth Gould; Regina Sullivan Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Maya Opendak, Elizabeth Gould, Regina Sullivan Animals, including humans, require a highly coordinated and flexible system of social behavior and threat evaluation. However, trauma can disrupt this system, with the amygdala implicated as a mediator of these impairments in behavior. Recent evidence has further highlighted the context of infant trauma as a critical variable in determining its immediate and enduring consequences, with trauma experienced from an attachment figure, such as occurs in cases of caregiver-child maltreatment, as particularly detrimental. This review focuses on the unique role of caregiver presence during early-life trauma in programming deficits in social behavior and threat processing. Using data primarily from rodent models, we describe the interaction between trauma and attachment during a sensitive period in early life, which highlights the role of the caregiver’s presence in engagement of attachment brain circuitry and suppressing threat processing by the amygdala. These data suggest that trauma experienced directly from an abusive caregiver and trauma experienced in the presence of caregiver cues produce similar neurobehavioral deficits, which are unique from those resulting from trauma alone. We go on to integrate this information into social experience throughout the lifespan, including consequences for complex scenarios, such as dominance hierarchy formation and maintenance.
Authors:Imke L.J. Lemmers-Jansen; Lydia Krabbendam; Dick J. Veltman; Anne-Kathrin J. Fett Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Imke L.J. Lemmers-Jansen, Lydia Krabbendam, Dick J. Veltman, Anne-Kathrin J. Fett Trust and cooperation increase from adolescence to adulthood, but studies on gender differences in this development are rare. We investigated gender and age-related differences in trust and reciprocity and associated neural mechanisms in 43 individuals (16 to 27 years, 22 male). Participants played two multi-round trust games with a cooperative and an unfair partner. Males showed more basic trust towards unknown others than females. Both genders increased trust during cooperative interactions, with no differences in average trust. Age was unrelated to trust during cooperation. During unfair interactions males decreased their trust more with age than females. ROI analysis showed age-related increases in activation in the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) during cooperative investments, and increased age-related caudate activation during both cooperative and unfair repayments. Gender differences in brain activation were only observed during cooperative repayments, with males activating the TPJ more than females, and females activating the caudate more. The findings suggest relatively mature processes of trust and reciprocity in the investigated age range. Gender differences only occur in unfair contexts, becoming more pronounced with age. Largely similar neural activation in males and females and few age effects suggest that similar, mature cognitive strategies are employed.
Authors:Jessica E. Flannery; Nicole R. Giuliani; John C. Flournoy; Jennifer H. Pfeifer Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Jessica E. Flannery, Nicole R. Giuliani, John C. Flournoy, Jennifer H. Pfeifer Adolescence is a sensitive period of social-affective development, characterized by biological, neurological, and social changes. The field currently conceptualizes these changes in terms of an imbalance between systems supporting reactivity and regulation, specifically nonlinear changes in reactivity networks and linear changes in regulatory networks. Previous research suggests that the labeling or reappraisal of emotion increases activity in lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), and decreases activity in amygdala relative to passive viewing of affective stimuli. However, past work in this area has relied heavily on paradigms using static, adult faces, as well as explicit regulation. In the current study, we assessed cross-sectional trends in neural responses to viewing and labeling dynamic peer emotional expressions in adolescent girls 10-23 years old. Our dynamic adolescent stimuli set reliably and robustly recruited key brain regions involved in emotion reactivity (MOFC/vMPFC, bilateral amygdala) and regulation (bilateral dorsal and ventral LPFC). However, contrary to the age-trends predicted by the dominant models in studies of risk/reward, the LPFC showed a nonlinear age trend across adolescence to labeling dynamic peer faces, whereas the MOFC/vMPFC showed a linear decrease with age to viewing dynamic peer faces. There were no significant age trends observed in the amygdala.
Authors:Mark H. Johnson Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Mark H. Johnson While research on focal perinatal lesions has provided evidence for recovery of function, much less is known about processes of brain adaptation resulting from mild but widespread disturbances to neural processing over the early years (such as alterations in synaptic efficiency). Rather than being viewed as a direct behavioral consequence of life-long neural dysfunction, I propose that autism is best viewed as the end result of engaging adaptive processes during a sensitive period. From this perspective, autism is not appropriately described as a disorder of neurodevelopment, but rather as an adaptive common variant pathway of human functional brain development.
Authors:Marc D. Rudolph; Oscar Miranda-Dominguez; Alexandra O. Cohen; Kaitlyn Breiner; Laurence Steinberg; Richard J. Bonnie; Elizabeth S. Scott; Kim A. Taylor-Thompson; Jason Chein; Karla C. Fettich; Jennifer A. Richeson; Danielle V. Dellarco; Adriana Galván; B.J. Casey; Damien A. Fair Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Marc D. Rudolph, Oscar Miranda-Dominguez, Alexandra O. Cohen, Kaitlyn Breiner, Laurence Steinberg, Richard J. Bonnie, Elizabeth S. Scott, Kim A. Taylor-Thompson, Jason Chein, Karla C. Fettich, Jennifer A. Richeson, Danielle V. Dellarco, Adriana Galván, B.J. Casey, Damien A. Fair Developmental differences regarding decision making are often reported in the absence of emotional stimuli and without context, failing to explain why some individuals are more likely to have a greater inclination toward risk. The current study (N=212; 10-25y) examined the influence of emotional context on underlying functional brain connectivity over development and its impact on risk preference. Using functional imaging data in a neutral brain-state we first identify the “brain age” of a given individual then validate it with an independent measure of cortical thickness. We then show, on average, that “brain age” across the group during the teen years has the propensity to look younger in emotional contexts. Further, we show this phenotype (i.e. a younger brain age in emotional contexts) relates to a group mean difference in risk perception − a pattern exemplified greatest in young-adults (ages 18-21). The results are suggestive of a specified functional brain phenotype that relates to being at “risk to be risky.”
Authors:Laura E. Engelhardt; Mary Abbe Roe; Jenifer Juranek; Dana DeMaster; K. Paige Harden; Elliot M. Tucker-Drob; Jessica A. Church Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 February 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Laura E. Engelhardt, Mary Abbe Roe, Jenifer Juranek, Dana DeMaster, K. Paige Harden, Elliot M. Tucker-Drob, Jessica A. Church Head motion during fMRI scans negatively impacts data quality, and as post-acquisition techniques for addressing motion become increasingly stringent, data retention decreases. Studies conducted with adult participants suggest that movement acts as a relatively stable, heritable phenotype that serves as a marker for other genetically influenced phenotypes. Whether these patterns extend downward to childhood has critical implications for the interpretation and generalizability of fMRI data acquired from children. We examined factors affecting scanner motion in two samples: a population-based twin sample of 73 participants (ages 7-12 years) and a case-control sample of 32 non-struggling and 78 struggling readers (ages 8-11 years), 30 of whom were scanned multiple times. Age, but not ADHD symptoms, was significantly related to scanner movement. Movement also varied as a function of task type, run length, and session length. Twin pair concordance for head motion was high for monozygotic twins and moderate for dizygotic twins. Cross-session test-retest reliability was high. Together, these findings suggest that children’s head motion is a genetically influenced trait that has the potential to systematically affect individual differences in BOLD changes within and across groups. We discuss recommendations for future work and best practices for pediatric neuroimaging.
Authors:Edith V. Sullivan; Ty Brumback; Susan F. Tapert; Devin Prouty; Rosemary Fama; Wesley K. Thompson; Sandra A. Brown; Kevin Cummins; Ian M. Colrain; Fiona C. Baker; Duncan B. Clark; Tammy Chung; Michael D. De Bellis; Stephen R. Hooper; Bonnie J. Nagel; B. Nolan Nichols; Weiwei Chu; Dongjin Kwon; Kilian M. Pohl; Adolf Pfefferbaum Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 January 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Edith V. Sullivan, Ty Brumback, Susan F. Tapert, Devin Prouty, Rosemary Fama, Wesley K. Thompson, Sandra A. Brown, Kevin Cummins, Ian M. Colrain, Fiona C. Baker, Duncan B. Clark, Tammy Chung, Michael D. De Bellis, Stephen R. Hooper, Bonnie J. Nagel, B. Nolan Nichols, Weiwei Chu, Dongjin Kwon, Kilian M. Pohl, Adolf Pfefferbaum Longitudinal study provides a robust method for tracking developmental trajectories. Yet inherent problems of retesting pose challenges in distinguishing biological developmental change from prior testing experience. We examined factors potentially influencing change scores on 16 neuropsychological test composites over 1year in 568 adolescents in the National Consortium on Alcohol and NeuroDevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) project. The twice-minus-once-tested method revealed that performance gain was mainly attributable to testing experience (practice) with little contribution from predicted developmental effects. Group mean practice slopes for 13 composites indicated that 60% to ∼100% variance was attributable to test experience; General Ability accuracy showed the least practice effect (29%). Lower baseline performance, especially in younger participants, was a strong predictor of greater gain. Contributions from age, sex, ethnicity, examination site, socioeconomic status, or family history of alcohol/substance abuse were nil to small, even where statistically significant. Recognizing that a substantial proportion of change in longitudinal testing, even over 1-year, is attributable to testing experience indicates caution against assuming that performance gain observed during periods of maturation necessarily reflects development. Estimates of testing experience, a form of learning, may be a relevant metric for detecting interim influences, such as alcohol use or traumatic episodes, on behavior.
Authors:DimitrisBolis; LeonhardSchilbach Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 January 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): DimitrisBolisLeonhardSchilbach Autism is a developmental condition, characterized by difficulties of social interaction and communication, as well as restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. Although several important conceptions have shed light on specific facets, there is still no consensus about a universal yet specific theory in terms of its underlying mechanisms. While some theories have exclusively focused on sensory aspects, others have emphasized social difficulties. However, sensory and social processes in autism might be interconnected to a higher degree than what has been traditionally thought. We propose that a mismatch in sensory abilities across individuals can lead to difficulties on a social, i.e. interpersonal level and vice versa. In this article, we, therefore, selectively review evidence indicating an interrelationship between perceptual and social difficulties in autism. Additionally, we link this body of research with studies, which investigate the mechanisms of action control in social contexts. By doing so, we highlight that autistic traits are also crucially related to differences in integration, anticipation and automatic responding to social cues, rather than a mere inability to register and learn from social cues. Importantly, such differences may only manifest themselves in sufficiently complex situations, such as real-life social interactions, where such processes are inextricably linked.
Authors:Giacomo Vivanti; Darren R. Hocking; Peter A.J. Fanning; Mirko Uljarevic; Valentina Postorino; Luigi Mazzone; Cheryl Dissanayake Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 January 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Giacomo Vivanti, Darren R. Hocking, Peter A.J. Fanning, Mirko Uljarevic, Valentina Postorino, Luigi Mazzone, Cheryl Dissanayake Background Abnormalities in habituation have been documented in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Williams syndrome (WS). Such abnormalities have been proposed to underlie the distinctive social and non-social difficulties that define ASD, including sensory features and repetitive behaviours, and the distinctive social phenotype characterizing WS. Methods We measured habituation in 39 preschoolers with ASD, 20 peers with WS and 19 typically developing (TD) children using an eye-tracking protocol that measured participants’ duration of attention in response to a repeating stimulus and a novel stimulus presented side by side across multiple trials. Results Participants in the TD group and the WS group decreased their attention toward the repeating stimulus and increased their attention to the novel stimulus over time. Conversely, the ASD group showed a similar attentional response to the novel and repeating stimuli. Habituation was correlated with social functioning in the WS but not in the ASD group. Contrary to predictions, slower habituation in ASD was associated with lower severity of repetitive behaviours. Conclusions Habituation appears to be intact in WS and impaired in ASD. More research is needed to clarify the nature of the syndrome-specific patterns of correlations between habituation and social and non-social functioning in these neurodevelopmental disorders.
Authors:Nicole E. Neef; Bent Müller; Johanna Liebig; Gesa Schaadt; Maren Grigutsch; Thomas C. Gunter; Arndt Wilcke; Holger Kirsten; Michael A. Skeide; Indra Kraft; Nina Kraus; Frank Emmrich; Jens Brauer; Johannes Boltze; Angela D. Friederici Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 January 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Nicole E. Neef, Bent Müller, Johanna Liebig, Gesa Schaadt, Maren Grigutsch, Thomas C. Gunter, Arndt Wilcke, Holger Kirsten, Michael A. Skeide, Indra Kraft, Nina Kraus, Frank Emmrich, Jens Brauer, Johannes Boltze, Angela D. Friederici Dyslexia is a reading disorder with strong associations with KIAA0319 and DCDC2. Both genes play a functional role in spike time precision of neurons. Strikingly, poor readers show an imprecise encoding of fast transients of speech in the auditory brainstem. Whether dyslexia risk genes are related to the quality of sound encoding in the auditory brainstem remains to be investigated. Here, we quantified the response consistency of speech-evoked brainstem responses to the acoustically presented syllable [da] in 159 genotyped, literate and preliterate children. When controlling for age, sex, familial risk and intelligence, partial correlation analyses associated a higher dyslexia risk loading with KIAA0319 with noisier responses. In contrast, a higher risk loading with DCDC2 was associated with a trend towards more stable responses. These results suggest that unstable representation of sound, and thus, reduced neural discrimination ability of stop consonants, occurred in genotypes carrying a higher amount of KIAA0319 risk alleles. Current data provide the first evidence that the dyslexia-associated gene KIAA0319 can alter brainstem responses and impair phoneme processing in the auditory brainstem. This brain-gene relationship provides insight into the complex relationships between phenotype and genotype thereby improving the understanding of the dyslexia-inherent complex multifactorial condition.
Authors:Annika C. Linke; R. Joanne Jao Keehn; Ellyn B. Pueschel; Inna Fishman; Ralph-Axel Müller Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 January 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Annika C. Linke, R. Joanne Jao Keehn, Ellyn B. Pueschel, Inna Fishman, Ralph-Axel Müller Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex and prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social and communicative deficits, as well as repetitive behaviors and atypical sensitivity to sensory stimulation. Alterations in network connectivity are widely recognized, but their interplay with social and sensory symptoms remains largely unclear. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging and diagnostic and behavioral assessments were used in a cohort of children and adolescents with ASD (n=40) and matched typically developing (TD, n=38) controls to examine the relation between auditory processing, interhemispheric and thalamocortical network connectivity, and social-behavioral symptom severity. We found that atypical processing of sounds was related to social, cognitive, and communicative impairments. Additionally, severity of sensory processing deficits and lower verbal IQ were related to reduced interhemispheric connectivity of auditory cortices in ASD. Increased connectivity between the thalamus and auditory cortex in ASD, however, was associated with reduced cognitive and behavioral symptomatology, suggesting that thalamocortical overconnectivity might reflect a compensatory mechanism in ASD. These findings provide novel evidence for links between auditory sensory deficits and impairments in social interaction and communication.
Authors:Hans S. Schroder; Megan E. Fisher; Yanli Lin; Sharon L. Lo; Judith H. Danovitch; Jason S. Moser Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 January 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Hans S. Schroder, Megan E. Fisher, Yanli Lin, Sharon L. Lo, Judith H. Danovitch, Jason S. Moser Individuals who believe intelligence is malleable (a growth mindset) are better able to bounce back from failures than those who believe intelligence is immutable. Event-related potential (ERPs) studies among adults suggest this resilience is related to increased attention allocation to errors. Whether this mechanism is present among young children remains unknown, however. We therefore evaluated error-monitoring ERPs among 123 school-aged children while they completed a child-friendly go/no-go task. As expected, higher attention allocation to errors (indexed by larger error positivity, Pe) predicted higher post-error accuracy. Moreover, replicating adult work, growth mindset was related to greater attention to mistakes (larger Pe) and higher post-error accuracy. Exploratory moderation analyses revealed that growth mindset increased post-error accuracy for children who did not attend to their errors. Together, these results demonstrate the combined role of growth mindset and neural mechanisms of attention allocation in bouncing back after failure among young children.
Authors:Themelis Karaminis; Louise Neil; Catherine Manning; Marco Turi; Chiara Fiorentini; David Burr; Elizabeth Pellicano Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 January 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Themelis Karaminis, Louise Neil, Catherine Manning, Marco Turi, Chiara Fiorentini, David Burr, Elizabeth Pellicano Ensemble perception, the ability to assess automatically the summary of large amounts of information presented in visual scenes, is available early in typical development. This ability might be compromised in autistic children, who are thought to present limitations in maintaining summary statistics representations for the recent history of sensory input. Here we examined ensemble perception of facial emotional expressions in 35 autistic children, 30 age- and ability-matched typical children and 25 typical adults. Participants received three tasks: a) an ‘ensemble’ emotion discrimination task; b) a baseline (single-face) emotion discrimination task; and c) a facial expression identification task. Children performed worse than adults on all three tasks. Unexpectedly, autistic and typical children were, on average, indistinguishable in their precision and accuracy on all three tasks. Computational modelling suggested that, on average, autistic and typical children used ensemble-encoding strategies to a similar extent; but ensemble perception was related to non-verbal reasoning abilities in autistic but not in typical children. Eye-movement data also showed no group differences in the way children attended to the stimuli. Our combined findings suggest that the abilities of autistic and typical children for ensemble perception of emotions are comparable on average, but may rely on different cognitive mechanisms.
Authors:Sendy Caffarra; Clara D. Martin; Mikel Lizarazu; Marie Lallier; Asier Zarraga; Nicola Molinaro; Manuel Carreiras Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 January 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Sendy Caffarra, Clara D. Martin, Mikel Lizarazu, Marie Lallier, Asier Zarraga, Nicola Molinaro, Manuel Carreiras Studies on adults suggest that reading-induced brain changes might not be limited to linguistic processes. It is still unclear whether these results can be generalized to reading development. The present study shows to which extent neural responses to verbal and nonverbal stimuli are reorganized while children learn to read. MEG data of thirty Basque children (4-8y) were collected while they were presented with written words, spoken words and visual objects. The evoked fields elicited by the experimental stimuli were compared to their scrambled counterparts. Visual words elicited left posterior (200–300ms) and temporal activations (400–800ms). The size of these effects increased as reading performance improved, suggesting a reorganization of children’s visual word responses. Spoken words elicited greater left temporal responses relative to scrambles (300–700ms). No evidence for the influence of reading expertise was observed. Brain responses to objects were greater than to scrambles in bilateral posterior regions (200–500ms). There was a greater left hemisphere involvement as reading errors decreased, suggesting a strengthened verbal decoding of visual configurations with reading acquisition. The present results reveal that learning to read not only influences written word processing, but also affects visual object recognition, suggesting a non-language specific impact of reading on children’s neural mechanisms.
Authors:H.M. Endedijk; M. Meyer; H. Bekkering; A.H.N. Cillessen; S. Hunnius Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2017 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): H.M. Endedijk, M. Meyer, H. Bekkering, A.H.N. Cillessen, S. Hunnius Whether we hand over objects to someone, play a team sport, or make music together, social interaction often involves interpersonal action coordination, both during instances of cooperation and entrainment. Neural mirroring is thought to play a crucial role in processing other’s actions and is therefore considered important for social interaction. Still, to date, it is unknown whether interindividual differences in neural mirroring play a role in interpersonal coordination during different instances of social interaction. A relation between neural mirroring and interpersonal coordination has particularly relevant implications for early childhood, since successful early interaction with peers is predictive of a more favorable social development. We examined the relation between neural mirroring and children’s interpersonal coordination during peer interaction using EEG and longitudinal behavioral data. Results showed that 4-year-old children with higher levels of motor system involvement during action observation (as indicated by lower beta-power) were more successful in early peer cooperation. This is the first evidence for a relation between motor system involvement during action observation and interpersonal coordination during other instances of social interaction. The findings suggest that interindividual differences in neural mirroring are related to interpersonal coordination and thus successful social interaction.
Authors:Monica E. Ellwood-Lowe; Matthew D. Sacchet; Ian H. Gotlib Pages: 1 - 8 Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 October 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Monica E. Ellwood-Lowe, Matthew D. Sacchet, Ian H. Gotlib 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.
Authors:Jessica C. Hodgson; Rebecca J. Hirst; John M. Hudson Pages: 9 - 17 Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 September 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Jessica C. Hodgson, Rebecca J. Hirst, John M. Hudson 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.
Authors:Maria C. Alvarado; Ludise Malkova; Jocelyne Bachevalier Pages: 27 - 35 Abstract: Publication date: December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 22 Author(s): Maria C. Alvarado, Ludise Malkova, Jocelyne Bachevalier The present study tested whether relational memory processes, as measured by the transverse patterning problem, are late-developing in nonhuman primates as they are in humans. Eighteen macaques ranging from 3 to 36 months of age, were trained to solve a set of visual discriminations that formed the transverse patterning problem. Subjects were trained at 3, 4–6, 12, 15–24 or 36 months of age to solve three discriminations as follows: 1) A+ vs. B−; 2) B+ vs. C−; 3) C+ vs. A. When trained concurrently, subjects must adopt a relational strategy to perform accurately on all three problems. All 36 month old monkeys reached the criterion of 90% correct, but only one 24-month-old and one 15-month-old did, initially. Three-month-old infants performed at chance on all problems. Six and 12-month-olds performed at 75–80% correct but used a ‘linear’ or elemental solution (e.g. A>B>C), which only yields correct performance on two problems. Retraining the younger subjects at 12, 24 or 36 months yielded a quantitative improvement on speed of learning, and a qualitative improvement in 24–36 month old monkeys for learning strategy. The results suggest that nonspatial relational memory develops late in macaques (as in humans), maturing between 15 and 24 months of age.
Authors:K. Paige Harden; Natalie Kretsch; Frank D. Mann; Kathrin Herzhoff; Jennifer L. Tackett; Laurence Steinberg; Elliot M. Tucker-Drob Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): K. Paige Harden, Natalie Kretsch, Frank D. Mann, Kathrin Herzhoff, Jennifer L. Tackett, Laurence Steinberg, Elliot M. Tucker-Drob The dual systems model posits that adolescent risk-taking results from an imbalance between a cognitive control system and an incentive processing system. Researchers interested in understanding the development of adolescent risk-taking use a diverse array of behavioral and self-report measures to index cognitive control and incentive processing. It is currently unclear whether different measures commonly interpreted as indicators of the same psychological construct do, in fact, tap the same underlying dimension of individual differences. In a diverse sample of 810 adolescent twins and triplets (M age=15.9years, SD =1.4years) from the Texas Twin Project, we investigated the factor structure of fifteen self-report and task-based measures relevant for adolescent risk-taking. These measures can be organized into four factors, which we labeled premeditation, fearlessness, cognitive dyscontrol, and reward seeking. Most behavioral measures contained large amounts of task-specific variance; however, most genetic variance in each measure was shared with other measures of the corresponding factor. Behavior genetic analyses further indicated that genetic influences on cognitive dyscontrol overlapped nearly perfectly with genetic influences on IQ (r A =−.91). These findings underscore the limitations of using single laboratory tasks in isolation, and indicate that the study of adolescent risk taking will benefit from applying multimethod approaches.
Authors:Francisco Velasquez; Jillian Lee Wiggins; Whitney I. Mattson; Donna M. Martin; Catherine Lord; Christopher S. Monk Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Francisco Velasquez, Jillian Lee Wiggins, Whitney I. Mattson, Donna M. Martin, Catherine Lord, Christopher S. Monk Social deficits in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are linked to amygdala functioning and functional connection between the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sACC) is involved in the modulation of amygdala activity. Impairments in behavioral symptoms and amygdala activation and connectivity with the sACC seem to vary by serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) variant genotype in diverse populations. The current preliminary investigation examines whether amygdala-sACC connectivity differs by 5-HTTLPR genotype and relates to social functioning in ASD. A sample of 108 children and adolescents (44 ASD) completed an fMRI face-processing task. Youth with ASD and low expressing 5-HTTLPR genotypes showed significantly greater connectivity than youth with ASD and higher expressing genotypes as well as typically developing (TD) individuals with both low and higher expressing genotypes, in the comparison of happy vs. baseline faces and happy vs. neutral faces. Moreover, individuals with ASD and higher expressing genotypes exhibit a negative relationship between amygdala-sACC connectivity and social dysfunction. Altered amygdala-sACC coupling based on 5-HTTLPR genotype may help explain some of the heterogeneity in neural and social function observed in ASD. This is the first ASD study to combine genetic polymorphism analyses and functional connectivity in the context of a social task.
Authors:Mark Mikkelsen; Ericka L. Wodka; Stewart H. Mostofsky; Nicolaas A.J. Puts Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Mark Mikkelsen, Ericka L. Wodka, Stewart H. Mostofsky, Nicolaas A.J. Puts Sensory processing abnormalities are among the most common behavioral phenotypes seen in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), typically characterized by either over- or under-responsiveness to stimulation. In this review, we focus on tactile processing dysfunction in ASD. We firstly review clinical studies wherein sensitivity to tactile stimuli has traditionally been assessed by self-, parent- and experimenter-reports. We also discuss recent investigations using psychophysical paradigms that gauge individual tactile thresholds. These more experimentally rigorous studies allow for more objective assessments of tactile abnormalities in ASD. However, little is understood about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying these abnormalities, or the link between tactile abnormalities and ASD symptoms. Neurobiological research that has been conducted has pointed toward dysfunction in the excitation/inhibition balance of the central nervous system of those with ASD. This review covers recent efforts that have investigated tactile dysfunction in ASD from clinical and behavioral perspectives, and some of the efforts to link these to neurobiology. On the whole, findings are inconsistent, which can be ascribed to the subjectivity of clinical assessments, the heterogeneity of ASD cohorts, and the diversity of tactile sensitivity measures. Future endeavors into understanding tactile processing differences in ASD will greatly benefit from controlled experiments driven by neurobiological hypotheses.
Authors:Jennifer Murphy; Rebecca Brewer; Caroline Catmur; Geoffrey Bird Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Jennifer Murphy, Rebecca Brewer, Caroline Catmur, Geoffrey Bird Interoception refers to the perception of the physiological condition of the body, including hunger, temperature, and heart rate. There is a growing appreciation that interoception is integral to higher-order cognition. Indeed, existing research indicates an association between low interoceptive sensitivity and alexithymia (a difficulty identifying one’s own emotion), underscoring the link between bodily and emotional awareness. Despite this appreciation, the developmental trajectory of interoception across the lifespan remains under-researched, with clear gaps in our understanding. This qualitative review and opinion paper provides a brief overview of interoception, discussing its relevance for developmental psychopathology, and highlighting measurement issues, before surveying the available work on interoception across four stages of development: infancy, childhood, adolescence and late adulthood. Where gaps in the literature addressing the development of interoception exist, we draw upon the association between alexithymia and interoception, using alexithymia as a possible marker of atypical interoception. Evidence indicates that interoceptive ability varies across development, and that this variance correlates with established age-related changes in cognition and with risk periods for the development of psychopathology. We suggest a theory within which atypical interoception underlies the onset of psychopathology and risky behaviour in adolescence, and the decreased socio-emotional competence observed in late adulthood.
Authors:Michelle L. Byrne; Sarah Whittle; Nandita Vijayakumar; Meg Dennison; Julian G. Simmons; Nicholas B. Allen Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Michelle L. Byrne, Sarah Whittle, Nandita Vijayakumar, Meg Dennison, Julian G. Simmons, Nicholas B. Allen Substantial hormonal and neurobiological changes occur during puberty, and are widely argued to render this period of life a sensitive period in terms of risk for mental health problems. However, there is a paucity of research focusing on adrenarche, the earlier phase of pubertal development. Furthermore, there is a limited understanding of the association between adrenarche and neural development during this phase of life. We systematically reviewed research examining human adrenarcheal development as operationalized by hormonal levels of DHEA and DHEA-S, in relation to indices of mental health (Systematic Review 1). We then reviewed the limited amount of literature that has examined the association between adrenarcheal development and brain structure or function (Systematic Review 2). In general, studies showed that earlier timing of adrenarche was associated with greater mental health symptoms, and there is emerging support that brain development plays a role in this relationship. However, several methodological inconsistencies were noted. We propose that future research in this area test a theoretical model of adrenarche as a sensitive period of neurobiological development, whereby timing of exposure to hormones interacts with brain development, biological sex, and psychosocial stress to influence environmental sensitivity and risk for mental health problems through adolescence.
Authors:Dorothea M. Moore; Anila M. D’Mello; Lauren M. McGrath; Catherine J. Stoodley Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Dorothea M. Moore, Anila M. D’Mello, Lauren M. McGrath, Catherine J. Stoodley There is growing evidence that the cerebellum is involved in cognition and cognitive development, yet little is known about the developmental relationship between cerebellar structure and cognitive subdomains in children. We used voxel-based morphometry to assess the relationship between cerebellar grey matter (GM) and language, reading, working memory, executive function, and processing speed in 110 individuals aged 8-17 years from the Pediatric Imaging, Neurocognition, and Genetics (PING) Study. Further, we examined the effect of age on the relationships between cerebellar GM and cognition. Higher scores on vocabulary, reading, working memory, and set-shifting were associated with increased GM in the posterior cerebellum (lobules VI–IX), in regions which are typically engaged during cognitive tasks in healthy adults. For reading, working memory, and processing speed, the relationship between cerebellar GM and cognitive performance changed with age in specific cerebellar subregions. As in adults, posterior lobe cerebellar GM was associated with cognitive performance in a pediatric population, and this relationship mirrored the known developmental trajectory of posterior cerebellar GM. These findings provide further evidence that specific regions of the cerebellum support cognition and cognitive development, and suggest that the strength of this relationship depends on developmental stage.
Authors:Julia J. Harris; Clare Reynell Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Julia J. Harris, Clare Reynell Depression is a highly prevalent life-threatening disorder, with its first onset commonly occurring during adolescence. Adolescent depression is increasingly being treated with antidepressants, such as fluoxetine. The use of medication during this sensitive period of physiological and cognitive brain development produces neurobiological changes, some of which may outlast the course of treatment. In this review, we look at how antidepressant treatment in adolescence is likely to alter neurovascular coupling and brain energy use and how these changes, in turn, affect our ability to identify neuronal activity changes between participant groups. BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), the method most commonly used to record brain activity in humans, is an indirect measure of neuronal activity. This means that between-group comparisons − adolescent versus adult, depressed versus healthy, medicated versus non-medicated − rely upon a stable relationship existing between neuronal activity and the BOLD response across these groups. We use data from animal studies to detail the ways in which fluoxetine may alter this relationship, and explore how these alterations may influence the interpretation of BOLD signal differences between groups that have been treated with fluoxetine and those that have not.
Authors:Lauren L. Emberson; Grace Cannon; Holly Palmeri; John E. Richards; Richard N. Aslin Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Lauren L. Emberson, Grace Cannon, Holly Palmeri, John E. Richards, Richard N. Aslin How does the developing brain respond to recent experience? Repetition suppression (RS) is a robust and well-characterized response of to recent experience found, predominantly, in the perceptual cortices of the adult brain. We use functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to investigate how perceptual (temporal and occipital) and frontal cortices in the infant brain respond to auditory and visual stimulus repetitions (spoken words and faces). In Experiment 1, we find strong evidence of repetition suppression in the frontal cortex but only for auditory stimuli. In perceptual cortices, we find only suggestive evidence of auditory RS in the temporal cortex and no evidence of visual RS in any ROI. In Experiments 2 and 3, we replicate and extend these findings. Overall, we provide the first evidence that infant and adult brains respond differently to stimulus repetition. We suggest that the frontal lobe may support the development of RS in perceptual cortices.
Authors:Kathy T. Do; João F.Guassi Moreira; Eva H. Telzer Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 December 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Kathy T. Do, João F.Guassi Moreira, Eva H. Telzer Recent work has shown that the same neural circuitry that typically underlies risky behaviors also contributes to prosocial behaviors. Despite the striking overlap between two seemingly distinct behavioral patterns, little is known about how risk taking and prosociality interact and inform adolescent decision making. We review literature on adolescent brain development as it pertains to risk taking and prosociality and propose a new area of study, Prosocial Risk Taking, which suggests that adolescents can make risky decisions with the intention of helping other individuals. Given key socialization processes and ongoing neurodevelopmental changes during this time, adolescence may represent a sensitive period for the emergence of Prosocial Risk Taking, especially within a wide variety of social contexts when youth’s increased sensitivity to social evaluation and belonging impacts their behaviors. Prosocial Risk Taking in adolescence is an area of study that has been overlooked in the literature, but could help explain how ontogenetic changes in the adolescent brain may create not only vulnerabilities, but also opportunities for healthy prosocial development.
Authors:Claudia Männel; Gesa Schaadt; Franziska K. Illner; Elke van der Meer; Angela D. Friederici Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 November 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Claudia Männel, Gesa Schaadt, Franziska K. Illner, Elke van der Meer, Angela D. Friederici Intact phonological processing is crucial for successful literacy acquisition. While individuals with difficulties in reading and spelling (i.e., developmental dyslexia) are known to experience deficient phoneme discrimination (i.e., segmental phonology), findings concerning their prosodic processing (i.e., suprasegmental phonology) are controversial. Because there are no behavior-independent studies on the underlying neural correlates of prosodic processing in dyslexia, these controversial findings might be explained by different task demands. To provide an objective behavior-independent picture of segmental and suprasegmental phonological processing in impaired literacy acquisition, we investigated event-related brain potentials during passive listening in typically and poor-spelling German school children. For segmental phonology, we analyzed the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) during vowel length discrimination, capturing automatic auditory deviancy detection in repetitive contexts. For suprasegmental phonology, we analyzed the Closure Positive Shift (CPS) that automatically occurs in response to prosodic boundaries. Our results revealed spelling group differences for the MMN, but not for the CPS, indicating deficient segmental, but intact suprasegmental phonological processing in poor spellers. The present findings point towards a differential role of segmental and suprasegmental phonology in literacy disorders and call for interventions that invigorate impaired literacy by utilizing intact prosody in addition to training deficient phonemic awareness.
Authors:S. Lloyd-Fox; K. Begus; D. Halliday; L. Pirazzoli; A. Blasi; M. Papademetriou; M.K. Darboe; A.M. Prentice; M.H. Johnson; S.E. Moore; C.E. Elwell Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 November 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): S. Lloyd-Fox, K. Begus, D. Halliday, L. Pirazzoli, A. Blasi, M. Papademetriou, M.K. Darboe, A.M. Prentice, M.H. Johnson, S.E. Moore, C.E. Elwell Brain and nervous system development in human infants during the first 1000days (conception to two years of age) is critical, and compromised development during this time (such as from under nutrition or poverty) can have life-long effects on physical growth and cognitive function. Cortical mapping of cognitive function during infancy is poorly understood in resource-poor settings due to the lack of transportable and low-cost neuroimaging methods. Having established a signature cortical response to social versus non-social visual and auditory stimuli in infants from 4 to 6 months of age in the UK, here we apply this functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) paradigm to investigate social responses in infants from the first postnatal days to the second year of life in two contrasting environments: rural Gambian and urban UK. Results reveal robust, localized, socially selective brain responses from 9–24 months of life to both the visual and auditory stimuli. In contrast at 0–2 months of age infants exhibit non-social auditory selectivity, an effect that persists until 4–8 months when we observe a transition to greater social stimulus selectivity. These findings reveal a robust developmental curve of cortical specialization over the first two years of life.
Authors:Elizabeth R. Duval; Sarah N. Garfinkel; James E. Swain; Gary W. Evans; Erika K. Blackburn; Mike Angstadt; Chandra S. Sripada; Israel Liberzon Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 November 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Elizabeth R. Duval, Sarah N. Garfinkel, James E. Swain, Gary W. Evans, Erika K. Blackburn, Mike Angstadt, Chandra S. Sripada, Israel Liberzon Childhood poverty is a risk factor for poorer cognitive performance during childhood and adulthood. While evidence linking childhood poverty and memory deficits in adulthood has been accumulating, underlying neural mechanisms are unknown. To investigate neurobiological links between childhood poverty and adult memory performance, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a visuospatial memory task in healthy young adults with varying income levels during childhood. Participants were assessed at age 9 and followed through young adulthood to assess income and related factors. During adulthood, participants completed a visuospatial memory task while undergoing MRI scanning. Patterns of neural activation, as well as memory recognition for items, were assessed to examine links between brain function and memory performance as it relates to childhood income. Our findings revealed associations between item recognition, childhood income level, and hippocampal activation. Specifically, the association between hippocampal activation and recognition accuracy varied as a function of childhood poverty, with positive associations at higher income levels, and negative associations at lower income levels. These prospective findings confirm previous retrospective results detailing deleterious effects of childhood poverty on adult memory performance. In addition, for the first time, we identify novel neurophysiological correlates of these deficits localized to hippocampus activation.
Authors:Gojko Žarić; João M. Correia; Gorka Fraga González; Jurgen Tijms; Maurtis W.van der Molen; Leo Blomert; Milene Bonte Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 November 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Gojko Žarić, João M. Correia, Gorka Fraga González, Jurgen Tijms, Maurtis W.van der Molen, Leo Blomert, Milene Bonte Reading is a complex cognitive skill subserved by a distributed network of visual and language-related regions. Disruptions of connectivity within this network have been associated with developmental dyslexia but their relation to individual differences in the severity of reading problems remains unclear. Here we investigate whether dysfunctional connectivity scales with the level of reading dysfluency by examining EEG recordings during visual word and false font processing in 9-year-old typically reading children (TR) and two groups of dyslexic children: severely dysfluent (SDD) and moderately dysfluent (MDD) dyslexics. Results indicated weaker occipital to inferior-temporal connectivity for words in both dyslexic groups relative to TRs. Furthermore, SDDs exhibited stronger connectivity from left central to right inferior-temporal and occipital sites for words relative to TRs, and for false fonts relative to both MDDs and TRs. Importantly, reading fluency was positively related with forward and negatively with backward connectivity. Our results suggest disrupted visual processing of words in both dyslexic groups, together with a compensatory recruitment of right posterior brain regions especially in the SDDs during word and false font processing. Functional connectivity in the brain’s reading network may thus depend on the level of reading dysfluency beyond group differences between dyslexic and typical readers. Graphical abstract
Authors:Anja A. Goepfrich; Chris M. Friemel; Sabina Pauen; Miriam Schneider Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 November 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Anja A. Goepfrich, Chris M. Friemel, Sabina Pauen, Miriam Schneider Adolescence and puberty are highly susceptible developmental periods during which the neuronal organization and maturation of the brain is completed. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system, which is well known to modulate cognitive processing, undergoes profound and transient developmental changes during adolescence. With the present study we were aiming to examine the ontogeny of cognitive skills throughout adolescence in male rats and clarify the potential modulatory role of CB1 receptor signalling. Cognitive skills were assessed repeatedly every 10th day in rats throughout adolescence. All animals were tested for object recognition memory and prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex. Although cognitive performance in short-term memory as well as sensorimotor gating abilities were decreased during puberty compared to adulthood, both tasks were found to show different developmental trajectories throughout adolescence. A low dose of the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist SR141716 was found to improve recognition memory specifically in pubertal animals while not affecting behavioral performance at other ages tested. The present findings demonstrate that the developmental trajectory of cognitive abilities does not occur linearly for all cognitive processes and is strongly influenced by pubertal maturation. Developmental alterations within the eCB system at puberty onset may be involved in these changes in cognitive processing.
Authors:Maria K. Eckstein; Belén Guerra-Carrillo; Alison T. Miller Singley; Silvia A. Bunge Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 November 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Maria K. Eckstein, Belén Guerra-Carrillo, Alison T. Miller Singley, Silvia A. Bunge This review provides an introduction to two eyetracking measures that can be used to study cognitive development and plasticity: pupil dilation and spontaneous blink rate. We begin by outlining the rich history of gaze analysis, which can reveal the current focus of attention as well as cognitive strategies. We then turn to the two lesser-utilized ocular measures. Pupil dilation is modulated by the brain’s locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system, which controls physiological arousal and attention, and has been used as a measure of subjective task difficulty, mental effort, and neural gain. Spontaneous eyeblink rate correlates with levels of dopamine in the central nervous system, and can reveal processes underlying learning and goal-directed behavior. Taken together, gaze, pupil dilation, and blink rate are three non-invasive and complementary measures of cognition with high temporal resolution and well-understood neural foundations. Here we review the neural foundations of pupil dilation and blink rate, provide examples of their usage, describe analytic methods and methodological considerations, and discuss their potential for research on learning, cognitive development, and plasticity.
Authors:Elif Isbell; Courtney Stevens; Amanda Hampton Wray; Theodore Bell; Helen J. Neville Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 November 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Elif Isbell, Courtney Stevens, Amanda Hampton Wray, Theodore Bell, Helen J. Neville While a growing body of research has identified experiential factors associated with differences in selective attention, relatively little is known about the contribution of genetic factors to the skill of sustained selective attention, especially in early childhood. Here, we assessed the association between the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) genotypes and the neural mechanisms of selective attention in young children from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a dichotic listening task from 121 children (76 females, aged 40-67 months), who were also genotyped for the short and long allele of 5-HTTLPR. The effect of selective attention was measured as the difference in ERP mean amplitudes elicited by identical probe stimuli embedded in stories when they were attended versus unattended. Compared to children homozygous for the long allele, children who carried at least one copy of the short allele showed larger effects of selective attention on neural processing. These findings link the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR to enhanced neural mechanisms of selective attention and lay the groundwork for future studies of gene-by-environment interactions in the context of key cognitive skills.
Authors:Marlen Z. Gonzalez; Joseph P. Allen; James A. Coan Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 October 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Marlen Z. Gonzalez, Joseph P. Allen, James A. Coan Life history theory suggests that adult reward sensitivity should be best explained by childhood, but not current, socioeconomic conditions. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, 83 participants from a larger longitudinal sample completed the monetary incentive delay (MID) task in adulthood (∼25 years old). Parent-reports of neighborhood quality and parental SES were collected when participants were 13 years of age. Current income level was collected concurrently with scanning. Lower adolescent neighborhood quality, but neither lower current income nor parental SES, was associated with heightened sensitivity to the anticipation of monetary gain in putative mesolimbic reward areas. Lower adolescent neighborhood quality was also associated with heightened sensitivity to the anticipation of monetary loss activation in visuo-motor areas. Lower current income was associated with heightened sensitivity to anticipated loss in occipital areas and the operculum. We tested whether externalizing behaviors in childhood or adulthood could better account for neighborhood quality findings, but they did not. Findings suggest that neighborhood ecology in adolescence is associated with greater neural reward sensitivity in adulthood above the influence of parental SES or current income and not mediated through impulsivity and externalizing behaviors.
Authors:Cécile Issard; Judit Gervain Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 October 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Cécile Issard, Judit Gervain Humans can adapt to a wide range of variations in the speech signal, maintaining an invariant representation of the linguistic information it contains. Among them, adaptation to rapid or time-compressed speech has been well studied in adults, but the developmental origin of this capacity remains unknown. Does this ability depend on experience with speech (if yes, as heard in utero or as heard postnatally), with sounds in general or is it experience-independent? Using near-infrared spectroscopy, we show that the newborn brain can discriminate between three different compression rates: normal, i.e. 100% of the original duration, moderately compressed, i.e. 60% of original duration and highly compressed, i.e. 30% of original duration. Even more interestingly, responses to normal and moderately compressed speech are similar, showing a canonical hemodynamic response in the left temporoparietal, right frontal and right temporal cortex, while responses to highly compressed speech are inverted, showing a decrease in oxyhemoglobin concentration. These results mirror those found in adults, who readily adapt to moderately compressed, but not to highly compressed speech, showing that adaptation to time-compressed speech requires little or no experience with speech, and happens at an auditory, and not at a more abstract linguistic level.
Authors:Matthew H. Kim; Jennie K. Grammer; Loren M. Marulis; Melisa Carrasco; Frederick J. Morrison; William J. Gehring Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 September 2016 Source:Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Author(s): Matthew H. Kim, Jennie K. Grammer, Loren M. Marulis, Melisa Carrasco, Frederick J. Morrison, William J. Gehring 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.