Infants of depressed mothers exhibit atypical frontal brain activity: A replication and extension of previous findings

Geraldine Dawson, Karin Frey, Heracles Panagiotides, Julie Osterling, David R Hessl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Scopus citations

Abstract

The left frontal brain region is specialized for expression of positive emotions (e.g. joy) whereas the right frontal region is specialized for negative emotions (e.g. sadness). Depressed adults have been found to exhibit reduced left frontal electroencephalographic activity. In this study, baseline frontal and parietal EEG activity was measured in 13-15-month-old infants of depressed and nondepressed mothers who were of middle income with no other major psychiatric problems. Compared to infants of nondepressed mothers, infants of depressed mothers exhibited reduced left frontal EEG activity. Infants of mothers with major depression exhibited lower levels of left frontal EEG activity than those of mothers with subthreshold depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • EEG activity
  • Emotion
  • Infants
  • Maternal depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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