Document Detail

Neonatal brainstem dysfunction risks infant social engagement.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22146141     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The role of the brainstem in mediating social signaling in phylogenetic ancestral organisms has been demonstrated. Evidence for its involvement in social engagement in human infants may deepen the understanding of the evolutionary pathway of humans as social beings. In this longitudinal study, neonatal brainstem functioning was measured by auditory brainstem-evoked responses (ABRs) in 125 healthy neonates born prematurely before 35 weeks' gestational age. At 4 months, infants were tested in a set of structured vignettes that required varying levels of social engagement and cardiac vagal tone was assessed. Data show that neonates with a disrupted I-V waveform, evident mostly by delayed wave V, exhibit shorter latencies to gaze averts in episodes involving direct face-to-face interactions but engage gaze as controls when interacting with masked agents or with agents whose faces are partly veiled by toys. Analysis of variance of infants' social engagement with ABR, neonatal risk, maternal stress and cardiac vagal tone showed a main effect for ABR and an ABR by gestational age interaction. The integrity of brainstem transmission of sensory information during the final weeks of gestation may scaffold the development of social disengagement, thereby attesting to the brainstem's preserved evolutionary role in developing humans as social organisms prior to engaging in social encounters.
Ronny Geva; Koreen Sopher; Lea Kurtzman; Giora Galili; Ruth Feldman; Jacob Kuint
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-12-5
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social cognitive and affective neuroscience     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1749-5024     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-12-7     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101288795     Medline TA:  Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Head of the Developmental Neuropsychology Lab, The Gonda Brain Research Center, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel.
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