Infants of depressed and nondepressed mothers exhibit differences in frontal brain electrical activity during the expression of negative emotions.

Published

Journal Article

Studies have shown that infants of depressed mothers express negative emotions more frequently than infants of nondepressed mothers. The present study examined electrical brain activity during expression of negative and positive emotions in infants of depressed and nondepressed mothers. Infants, 11 to 17 months of age, were exposed to conditions designed to elicit positive and negative emotions while electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was measured from left and right, frontal and parietal regions. EEG activity was analyzed when infants were displaying prototypic expressions of emotions. Compared with infants of nondepressed mothers, infants of depressed mothers exhibited increased EEG activation in the frontal but not parietal region when expressing negative emotions (unfelt smiles and anger). The two groups of infants did not show reliable differences is brain activation during the expression of positive emotions (happiness, surprise) or neutral expressions. Compared with infants of nondepressed mothers, infants of depressed mothers exhibit greater frontal EEG activation during the expression of negative emotions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dawson, G; Panagiotides, H; Klinger, LG; Spieker, S

Published Date

  • July 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 650 - 656

PubMed ID

  • 9232380

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9232380

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0599

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037//0012-1649.33.4.650

Language

  • eng