Document Detail

Neural correlates of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal regulation of mothers with their infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21783177     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Neural correlates of stress regulation via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis have been identified, but little is known about how these apply to real-world interpersonal stress contexts such as mother-infant interaction. We extended stress regulation research by examining maternal neural activation to infant cry related to HPA regulation with their infants.
METHODS: Twenty-two primiparous mothers listened to the cry sounds of their own 18-month-old infant and an unfamiliar infant and a control sound during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Salivary cortisol was collected at four timepoints in a separate session involving the Strange Situation stressor. Cortisol trajectories were modeled with hierarchical linear modeling, and trajectory terms were used to predict neural response to own infant cry.
RESULTS: Mothers who showed less HPA reactivity-indexed by trajectory curvature rather than level-showed increased activation to the cry of their infant relative to control sound across limbic/paralimbic and prefrontal circuits. These included periaqueductal gray, right insula, and bilateral orbitofrontal cortex as well as anterior cingulate-medial prefrontal cortex. Activations overlapped to some extent with previous HPA regulation findings and converged more extensively with circuits identified in other maternal response paradigms.
CONCLUSIONS: Maternal stress regulation involves both circuits found across stressor types (i.e., prefrontal) and areas unique to the mother-infant relationship (i.e., limbic/paralimbic). The shape of the HPA response trajectory of mothers was more important than the level of such response in defining stress-related neural correlates. Future research should consider dimensions of the stress context and of physiological trajectories to define stress-regulatory circuits.
Heidemarie K Laurent; Alexander Stevens; Jennifer C Ablow
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2011-07-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biological psychiatry     Volume:  70     ISSN:  1873-2402     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2011 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-11     Completed Date:  2012-02-01     Revised Date:  2014-09-05    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213264     Medline TA:  Biol Psychiatry     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  826-32     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Published by Elsevier Inc.
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MeSH Terms
Cerebral Cortex / physiology
Data Interpretation, Statistical
Hydrocortisone / blood
Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiology*
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Maternal Behavior / physiology*,  psychology
Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiology*
Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
Grant Support
F32 MH083462/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; F32 MH083462-02/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; F32MH083462-02/MH/NIMH NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:

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