Navigation Links
Crying baby draws blunted response in depressed mom's brain
Date:2/22/2011

EUGENE, Ore. -- Mothers who are depressed respond differently to their crying babies than do non-depressed moms. In fact, their reaction, according to brain scans at the University of Oregon, is much more muted than the robust brain activity in non-depressed moms.

An infant crying is normal, but how mothers respond can affect a child's development, says Jennifer C. Ablow, professor of psychology. For years, Ablow has studied the relationship of behavior and physiological responses such as heart rate and respiration of mothers, both depressed and not, when they respond to their infants' crying.

A new study -- online in advance of publication in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience -- provides the first look at brain activity of depressed women responding to recordings of crying infants, either their own or someone else's. The brains of 22 women were scrutinized using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Non-invasive fMRI, when focused on the brain, measures blood flow changes using a magnetic field and radio frequency pulses, producing detailed images that provide scientists with information about brain activity or help medical staff diagnose disease.

Researchers considered both group differences between women with chronic histories of depression and those with no clinical diagnoses, and more subtle variations in the women's brain activity related to current levels of depressive symptoms. All were first time mothers whose babies were 18 months old.

"It looks as though depressed mothers are not responding in a more negative way than non-depressed mothers, which has been one hypothesis," said Heidemarie K. Laurent, assistant professor at the University of Wyoming, who led the study as a postdoctoral researcher in Ablow's lab. "What we saw was really more of a lack of responding in a positive way."

As a group, brain responses in non-depressed mothers responding to the sound of their own babies' cries were seen on both sides of the brain's lateral paralimbic areas and core limbic sub-cortical regions including the striatum, thalamus and midbrain; depressed mothers showed no unique response to their babies. Non-depressed mothers activated much more strongly than depressed mothers in a subcortical cluster involving the striatum -- specifically the caudate and nucleus accumbens -- and the medial thalamus. These areas are closely associated with the processing of rewards and motivation.

"In this context it was interesting to see that the non-depressed mothers were able to respond to this cry sound as a positive cue," Laurent said. "Their response was consistent with wanting to approach their infants. Depressed mothers were really lacking in that response. "

In a separate comparison, mothers who self-reported that they were more depressed at the time of their fMRI sessions displayed diminished prefrontal brain activity, particularly in the anterior cingulate cortex, when hearing their own baby's cries. This brain region, Laurent said, is associated with the abilities to evaluate information and to plan and regulate a response to emotional cues.

The important message of the study, Ablow and Laurent said, is that depression can exert long-lasting effects on mother-infant relationships by blunting the mother's response to her infant's emotional cues.

"A mother who is able to process and act upon relevant information will have more sensitive interactions with her infant, which, in turn, will allow the infant to develop its own regulation capacities," Ablow said. "Some mothers are unable to respond optimally to their infant's emotional cues. A mother's emotional response requires a coordination of multiple cortical and sub-cortical systems of the brain. How that plays out has not been well known."

The findings may suggest new implications for treating depression symptoms in mothers, Laurent said. "Some of these prefrontal problems may be changed more easily by addressing current symptoms, but there may be deeper, longer-lasting deficits at the motivational levels of the brain that will take more time to overcome," she said.

We regard the findings as a "jumping-off point" to better understand the neurobiology of the mothering brain, said Ablow, co-director of the UO's Developmental Sociobiology Lab. "In our next study, we plan to follow women from the prenatal period through their first-year of motherhood to get a fuller picture of how these brain responses shape mother-infant relationships during a critical period of their babies' development."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Treatment Eases Involuntary Laughing, Crying Tied to Alzheimers, MS
2. Lady Gaga-Inspired Lens Fad Draws Warning From Eye Docs
3. First Annual Observance of World IBD Day Draws Awareness to Growing Global Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
4. United Therapeutics Corporation Withdraws European Marketing Authorization Application for Tyvaso for the Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
5. Emotions May Be Blunted in Alzheimers Patients
6. PET scans may allow early prediction of response to targeted therapy of thyroid cancer
7. Novel immune system-based gene therapy induces strong responses in metastatic melanoma, sarcoma
8. Princess Margaret Hospital researchers identify a key enzyme that affects radiation response
9. Stimulating the brains immune response may provide treatment for Alzheimers disease
10. Patent awarded for method to dampen immune response
11. Link between depression and inflammatory response found in mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Crying baby draws blunted response in depressed mom's brain
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Greenfield Advisors is honored to be ... for the second year in a row. The Inc. 5000 list honors private businesses ... “To be on the list once is a great accomplishment, but for us to ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... In 1987, McDaniel & Durrett, ... in business this year, and they’re marking the milestone by undertaking a significant ... patients. , It stands to reason that, given the central importance of ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... has received a three-year grant totaling $975,000, renewing its funding from the Health ... Human Services. , This funding marks, the fourth time the HRSA administration has ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... Endoscopes states: “Drying the endoscope after every reprocessing cycle, both between patient procedures ... transmission and nosocomial infections. Drying is as important to the prevention of disease ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... Lake City, Utah (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... spot on the Inc 5000 list for the fourth consecutive year. With ... Inc. 5000 2017 list of the nation’s fastest growing companies. , Previous ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/2/2017)... -- CaryRx, a next-generation full-service pharmacy, has announced the launch ... the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. CaryRx ... of medications through the convenience of its patient-friendly mobile app. ... one hour to any location in D.C. ... service to Washington D.C. ," says Areo ...
(Date:7/31/2017)... July 31, 2017 7D Surgical, developer of ground ... purchased the 7D Surgical System to support its strategic sales ... D.C. and Virginia.  7D Surgical has entered into ... of the premier medical facilities within those markets. ... ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST ) today ... updated financial guidance for the full-year 2017. ... Reported net sales of $397.6 million, a record ... at constant currency (organic) grew by 3.9%. ... $0.60 in the prior-year quarter. Second-quarter 2017 adjusted diluted ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: