Document Detail

Neural basis of maternal communication and emotional expression processing during infant preverbal stage.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18787229     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
During the first year of life, exchanges and communication between a mother and her infant are exclusively preverbal and are based on the mother's ability to understand her infant's needs and feelings (i.e., empathy) and on imitation of the infant's facial expressions; this promotes a social dialog that influences the development of the infant self. Sixteen mothers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while observing and imitating faces of their own child and those of someone else's child. We found that the mirror neuron system, the insula and amygdala were more active during emotional expressions, that this circuit is engaged to a greater extent when interacting with one's own child, and that it is correlated with maternal reflective function (a measure of empathy). We also found, by comparing single emotions with each other, that joy expressions evoked a response mainly in right limbic and paralimbic areas; by contrast, ambiguous expressions elicited a response in left high order cognitive and motor areas, which might reflect cognitive effort.
D Lenzi; C Trentini; P Pantano; E Macaluso; M Iacoboni; G L Lenzi; M Ammaniti
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-09-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)     Volume:  19     ISSN:  1460-2199     ISO Abbreviation:  Cereb. Cortex     Publication Date:  2009 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-04-06     Completed Date:  2009-06-25     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9110718     Medline TA:  Cereb Cortex     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1124-33     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Neurological Sciences, La Sapienza University of Rome, viale dell'Università 30, 00185 Rome, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Amygdala / physiology*
Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
Expressed Emotion / physiology*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
Mother-Child Relations*
Mothers / psychology
Object Attachment
Photic Stimulation
Young Adult

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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