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    Cortical specialisation to social stimuli from the first days to the second year of life: a rural Gambian cohort

    Lloyd Fox, Sarah and Begus, K. and Halliday, D. and Pirazzoli, Laura and Blasi, Anna and Papademetriou, M. and Darboe, M.K. and Prentice, A.M. and Johnson, Mark and Moore, S.E. and Elwell, Clare (2016) Cortical specialisation to social stimuli from the first days to the second year of life: a rural Gambian cohort. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience , ISSN 18789293. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Brain and nervous system development in human infants during the first 1000 days (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.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): fNIRS, infancy, low- and middle-income countries, nutrition, poverty, social cognition
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Sarah Lloyd Fox
    Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2016 13:17
    Last Modified: 06 Dec 2016 09:21
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/17553

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