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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25519

Title: The Relationship between Consistent Early Care and Brain Responses to Emotional Infant Stimuli in Recently Postpartum Mothers: An fMRI Study
Authors: Wonch, Kathleen Elizabeth
Advisor: Fleming, Alison S.
Department: Psychology
Keywords: Maternal behaviour
Early life experiences
Infant faces
Issue Date: 30-Dec-2010
Abstract: There is a paucity of research examining the neurobiological functioning of new mothers who have experienced parental loss during development. The current study investigated the relationship between inconsistent (IC) versus consistent (CC) care and brain activity in regions that comprise a putative neurobiological model of mothering. Mothers were shown positive and negative pictures of their own and an unfamiliar infant. Through repeated measures ANOVAs, it was found that BOLD activity was greater for own infant in the nucleus accumbens (NAC) and amygdala (AMY) and that positive pictures elicited greater BOLD response in the NAC, AMY and anterior cingulate cortex. Interestingly, IC mothers show an even greater response own infant in the NAC and left hypothalamus (HYPO). In the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, IC mothers showed greater BOLD response to other infant. Thus, functioning of the maternal circuit, which includes areas strongly implicated in reward, may be altered by early experiences.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25519
Appears in Collections:Master
Department of Psychology - Master theses

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